Much of rural Colombia suffers from a lack of both economic opportunities and public services, including sanitation and electricity. Over 50% of the rural population cooks and/or lights their homes with dangerous biomass fuels that release toxic emissions harmful to human health and the environment. The goal of this project is to improve rural livelihoods for members of EL COMUN’s rural workers’ associations in six municipalities by introducing 82 ready-to-use pig husbandry systems. Installing a system includes providing training for beneficiaries, a pigpen, livestock, feed and biogas digesters (BGD).
   As a result, families receiving the systems will be able to breed and raise pigs to sell and increase their income, while also saving money by using the waste gathered from cleaning the pens to produce organic effluent fertilizer and biogas that minimizes contamination and provides clean cooking fuel. Field days, workshops and agricultural training programs in the rural communities will provide experience to potential future adopters of BGD technology and promote EL COMUN’s sustainable agriculture and energy efforts, increasing the impact of the project even more. After the bio digesters are installed, training activities in each municipality take place along with workshops that cover technical issues related to pig husbandry and nutrition and best practices for the use of fertilizer and biogas.                          By March 2017, 88 families received complete systems and training. EL COMUN has gained, local technicians have installed 18 more biogas digesters for families who did not originally participate in the project.
Due to an increase in the price of pork, many families are preparing to expand their operations and raise more generations of pigs. Families have also reported positive outcomes on crop yields because of continued use of these fertilizers. This project has been a great success, and Green Empowerment looks forward to seeing how the community continues to benefit from the use of biogas digesters and pig husbandry.
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