The GEF Small Grants Programme

in Uzbekistan

Biogas - as an alternative fuel for greenhouses and poultry farms

For the information of those who do not know, in our country there is the Uzbek Research Institute of Vegetables, Melons and Potatoes. One of the main activities of the institute is to conduct research on the cultivation of vegetable crops in protected ground conditions, i.e. in greenhouses. In fact, the institute is the main researcher and distributor of technologies for growing vegetables. This direction is extremely important for the food security of Uzbekistan. The results of the institute's research are used by farmers throughout the country.

But like many research institutions, it faces various challenges. As a result of the lack of gas supply at the beginning of December 2011 due to cold weather, all the plants studied in the institute's greenhouses died. In fact, the research work of the institute was disrupted and the country did not receive the necessary research for growing vegetables.

In principle, these are typical greenhouses throughout the country. It is symbolic that smoke comes out of the chimney far away, but there is no heat in the greenhouse ..

A similar situation occurred in 2011 with almost all greenhouse farms in the country - the gas supply was stopped or extremely limited. Many greenhouse farms simply stopped their production, which led to a large increase in the price of vegetables during the cold period. Those greenhouses that wanted to continue working were forced to produce heating using coal, wood or diesel. In fact, all these energy sources add pressure on the country's ecosystems - cutting down trees for firewood, coal mining, and emissions of gases into the atmosphere.

this is how many previously functioning greenhouses look now

Today, in Uzbekistan, greenhouses only for growing vegetables occupy more than 6,000 hectares. If, when growing tomatoes or cucumbers, it takes about 390,000 cubic meters to heat a greenhouse for 5 months at the size of 1 hectare. meters of gas per year, then for the existing greenhouses in the Republic for the cultivation of these crops during the year, 2 billion 340 million cubic meters of natural gas will be required. These are huge numbers.

Usually gas is used to heat home-made boilers that supply hot water to greenhouses.

Given that the export price of gas is much higher than the domestic price, it is not economically feasible to solve this problem through administrative methods. The solution must lie in the economic plane. Based on the complexity of the situation, it is necessary to think about finding an alternative solution to the existing problem of providing greenhouse farms in Uzbekistan with stable access to energy.

It is testing of such an alternative that this project is going to do.

The project plans to operate in 2 directions:

1) test biogas as an energy source; And

2) to test how much biogas is needed to heat different models of greenhouses.

Yes, the project will look at how much gas is needed for different models of greenhouses and which one is the most energy efficient and economically viable (how much it costs and how much it generates income).

In simple terms, the project will tell you how much biogas is needed to heat a unit area of ​​various types (designs) of greenhouses. Then, along with an economic analysis, these recommendations will be presented to farmers so that they can make their own choice - whether or not to build biogas plants to heat their greenhouses.

Thus, the project plans to test the approach - to what extent biogas production and greenhouse energy efficiency can serve as an option for the most sustainable greenhouse management to achieve maximum economic benefits and ensure the country's food security.

This work will be carried out in close cooperation with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Uzbekistan, with the financial support of the UNDP project "Business Forum of Uzbekistan". The CCI actively supports the development of the poultry sector. At one of the meetings, a survey was conducted among the owners of poultry farms. And the 4th biggest problem for poultry farms was the lack of stable energy. Thus, this project will help to show the owners of poultry farms, too, how biogas can be used as an energy source.

The project will be implemented in stages:

Task 1. Build and put into operation a biogas plant with a volume of 120 m3 and an energy supply complex;

Task 2. Conduct tests on various greenhouse designs and collect data on the codification of all recommendations to farmers;

Task 3. Spread the experience as widely as possible.

For more information, please refer to the project document.

- Project document

- Project budget