Biogas equipment firm Sistema.bio has obtained Sh1.2 billion ($10 million) from American impact business firm Native to run a carbon biogas programme in East Africa targeting smallholder farmers.
Under the three-year programme Sistema.bio will supply biodigesters affordably to small and medium dairy farms in Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda to cut their carbon emissions.
The project is expected to contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) agenda which is an urgent call for action by all countries across the world.
“Sistema.bio is aligned with the goals of Africa’s climate agenda and this partnership adds critical funding, technology, and long-term services to meet such goals,” said Alex Eaton, chief executive and co-founder of Sistema.bio.
A typical biodigester costs Sh70,000, which is beyond the reach of most smallholder farmers. Under the programme, farmers will be able to access Sistema.bio biodigesters for half the price, by paying as little as Sh2,000 monthly over two years.
By providing flexible repayment plans and comprehensive monitoring services, farmers can acquire and operate biodigesters to collect and treat farm waste, resulting in clean biogas and rich biofertiliser.
Sistema digesters are designed to serve a wide range of farms and sanitation projects and are currently used in 30 countries around the world.
The biodigesters can handle dung from two cows to generate cooking fuel for households, which in turn reduces tree cutting for firewood or charcoal.
Carbon emissions have increased compared to the pre-industrial age courtesy of human activities through the use of fossil fuels such as coal and oil resulting in high levels of greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere negatively affecting the climate.
The company operates hubs in Mexico, Colombia, Kenya and India where it distributes biogas technology, service and financing for farmers to address challenges of poverty, food security, and climate change.
“This type of project is core to what Native does, supporting innovative companies like Sistema.bio that is having both a measurable GHG emission reduction while also showing progress towards several SDGs,” said Native vice president Nell Achtmeyer.
Earlier this year, Kenya-based fund manager KawiSafi Ventures joined other firms to invest $15.6 million (Sh1.7 billion) in Sistema.bio to fuel its expansion.