Biodigesters for Subsistence Farmers in Mexico

Project Type: Livestock Methane Emissions Avoidance
Standard: Gold Standard
Estimated Emissions Avoidance: ~385,000 tonnes over 10 years
Location: Mexico

Project Description

This project will install 10,000 simple biodigester units on subsistence and small livestock farms in Mexico over the course of four years. The units include:

  1. A full digester, which collects waste manure from livestock. As the manure breaks down anaerobically in the digester, it produces a methane-rich biogas that can be used for cooking and heat on the farm.  
  2. A clean household cooking system with stoves and burners attached to a gas line connected to the digester.
  3. A fertilizer management system for storing the leftover manure slurry, which can be applied to the fields as a substitute for chemical fertilizers.

The carbon revenue for this project allows the biodigester provider to lower the price and add flexibility to the payment terms of these systems, making the technology economically accessible to low-income farmers, vastly expanding the scale of biogas technology distribution in this region.

The biogas systems reduce total emissions in two key ways. First, the systems reduce methane emissions from manure. Secondly, the farmers targeted by this project currently rely heavily on woodfuel, as well as LP gas, to meet their energy needs. These systems will either significantly or completely displace those former energy sources with biogas. 

Our implementation partner, Sistema.bio, has technical farmer engagement teams on the ground that will help to educate farmers about the opportunity, support on-farm execution, and monitor usage. You can watch Sistema.bio’s video to see one of these small-scale digesters in action helping a family that relies on subsistence farming.

Impacts & Benefits

The installation of these systems on subsistence farms can lead to multi-faceted benefits:

  • By displacing the use of firewood for fuel in some homes, the systems protect forests and biodiversity and increase indoor air quality.
  • By displacing the use of LP gas in other homes, the systems save families money otherwise spent on energy, which they can use to invest in education and livelihood improvements.
  • By displacing chemical fertilizer with the manure slurry created by the digesters, the systems reduce agrochemical pollution and save money on inputs for families.

Validation & Verification

This project will be validated under the Gold Standard, using UNFCCC CDM Small Scale Methodology AMS-III.R, Version 3.0, “Methane Recovery in agricultural activities at household/small farm level.”