Constructing a biogas plant in the Mekong Delta province of Ben Tre. (Photo: nongnghiep.vn)

Hanoi (VNA) – By February 2018, nearly 52,000 small, 23 medium and two large biogas plants had been built across Vietnam to help reduce rural waste from livestock production under an 84-million-USD agricultural project.

The Low Carbon Agricultural Support Project (LCASP) has been carried out by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in ten provinces – Lao Cai, Son La, Phu Tho, Bac Giang, Nam Dinh, Ha Tinh, Binh Dinh, Tien Giang, Ben Tre and Soc Trang – since June 2013.

The project aims to encourage farmers to process livestock waste, which has serious consequences for health and the environment, into biogas and slurry. It also looks to raise awareness about environmentally-safe, climate-friendly waste management practices using commune pilot demonstrations, training courses, study tours, radio and television programmes and other information.

It is expected to lower energy costs, raise organic fertiliser use and boost household incomes, contributing to sustainable agricultural development and new-style rural area building.

The LCASP received 74 million USD in soft loans from the Asian Development Bank and 10 million USD from the Government and State-owned financial firms.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Vietnam is home to about 12 million households raising livestock and 23,500 livestock farms which dump an estimated 84.5 million tonnes of waste annually. Only 20 percent of the waste is converted into biogas and fertiliser or used for aquaculture. The remainder is discharged into the environment without treatment, causing serious pollution.-VNA