Indonesia as an agricultural country has plenty of natural resources including livestock as the source of basic food and employment as well as income generation in rural areas. Livestock is also potential as a source of energy by converting the waste (manure) into biogas. Utilization of livestock waste (manure) is an alternative solution that is appropriate for the livelihood in rural areas as it will reduce the cost of fertilizer and fuel. Moreover the use of manure as a source of energy does not reduce the amount and quality of organic fertilizer derived from livestock manure. The process only takes the methane (CH4) to be used as fuel. Moreover, the remaining manure that has been processed in biogas production was moved to a drier place, and when it is dry, it could be stored in bags for later use as fertilizer. Local farmers found that this kind of fertilizer makes a positive impact on the crops production and even better than the fresh manure. Livestock such as cattle farming plays an important role particularly in rural areas in Indonesia. The main products such as meat and milk are the sources of income for farmers. In addition, it is also the source of alternative energy for producing biogas, an eco-friendly alternative to improve the welfare of farming households. Utilization of biogas from livestock manure in the right way can increase awareness of livestock farmers to avoid environmental pollution. Nowadays, many cattle farmers in Indonesia who live in rural areas has put efforts to utilize the farm waste through anaerobic or fermentation processing to obtain bio-energy that can save cost of energy such as electricity and gas for cooking in the farm household.
It has been known that nowadays the scarcity of fuel turns the situation into the rising of fuel prices. The high fuel prices, particularly gas and fuel oil for domestic use, could be restless and hard for the society to face unfavorable economic life. Many efforts have been done to find the solution by looking for an alternative energy source without damaging the environment. Biogas as a renewable energy source can address the need for alternative source of energy while it also provides the needs of soil nutrient liquid and solid fertilizers and therefore reduce the greenhouse effect. In addition, biogas also helps to reduce the use of firewood. Thus it can reduce logging operations, so that the forest ecosystem is maintained, and biogas produces a clean blue flame and produces no smoke.
The Ministry of Agriculture has established a national program on biogas for rural areas. Some pilot projects are conducted in several provinces particularly in the production center of livestock. The projects aim at facilitating farmers to utilize waste from farm production. It is expected that the program will give positive contribution to the environment and the welfare of farmers in rural areas. This paper will highlight the biogas production and utilization as an energy provision in rural areas in Indonesia.
Contact the author Emmy Susanti for more information.