In Vietnam over two million families have piggeries that create a huge odour and waste problem. The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) has partnered with the Netherlands Development Organisation (SNV) to develop a nation wide biogas programme, which is turning Vietnam’s waste problem into a source of clean energy.
This case study from the Ashden Award recognises to MARD and SNV their successful partnership which has enabled the large scale dissemination of domestic biogas technology to improve the quality of life for farmers in Vietnam. Chapters include:
3. Potential for growth and replication
4. Contact details
The Vietnamese government has recognised the need for development of alternative energy to substitute its dependency on fossil fuels and has developed a vision and strategy on biofuels. Part of this is to recover so called waste lands (degraded or low-fertile) through the production of Jatropha oil seeds. This has the potential to bring a stable income for tens of thousands of rural farmers, especially in the coastal areas of central and southern Vietnam.
Green Energy Vietnam (GEV) started with the cultivation of Jatropha on infertile lands in Ninh Thuan, Quang Tri and Thua Thien Hue provinces. GEV approached SNV to support them in the development and set-up of a new company business model through which they can secure feedstock production from smallholder farmers. Leading in this business model will be to adhere to international sustainability guidelines as they are currently being developed by the Roundtable for Sustainable Biofuels. Essential elements here: access to land for smallholders and social and environmental sustainability.
SNV provides direct advisory to the company, reviewing and commenting their farmer contract systems, improving their farmer extension materials etc. SNV, in collaboration with local capacity builders also provides training services on agricultural extension for company staff and group leaders.
The case study addresses that it's difficult to talk about impact at this stage, but potential impacts for smallholders who can produce Jatropha are mentioned as well as some lessons learned.
Vietnam is characterised by having millions of hectares of marginal or less-productive lands available for sustainable production of biofuels feedstock. Green Energy Vietnam (GEV) is a for-profit company running a business in Jatropha cultivation (in 2009, approximate total of 2,000 ha), thereby contracting Vietnamese farmer's cooperatives and unions to secure large amounts of feedstock production. GEV processes the biomass for domestic and World sale. The cooperatives and unions are contracted for the long-term (30 years), contributing to a sustainable income for farming households. Besides contracting, GEV is active on household level, training them in feedstock production, as well as institutional level, developing appropriate policies and implementation mechanisms for contract farming modalities.
Since 2008, GEV has sought the advisory services from SNV in jointly building the capacity of the farmer cooperatives and unions in the management of the contract farming system. A model, which helps to secure feedstock production by smallholders for GEV, is being developed according to the international sustainability guidelines adopted by the Roundtable for Sustainable Biofuels (RSB). SNV, via local organisations, provides training services on agricultural extension for company staff and group leaders. Lastly, SNV advices on the applicability of carbon credits for parts of GEV's operation in line with the Kyoto protocol. With the advisory support of SNV, GEV will have, by the end of 2010, introduced a smallholder business model for Jatropha farming to around 10,000 households in three provinces (Ninh Thuan, Quang Tri and Thua Thien Hue) with a functioning professional support network and applied research station.