Prospects of adopting biogas technologies among the livestock farmers in Tororo District.
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Uganda‟s population depends on charcoal and wood as the main sources of energy for cooking. This has contributed greatly to the rapid depletion of the country‟s forest cover from 25% of the country‟s land area in 1990 to 8% in 2017. Several initiatives are being implemented to reduce the countries over dependence on wood biomass in meeting its energy needs. One of these initiatives is the African biogas partnership program which promotes biogas as an alternative source of clean, high quality and sustainable energy. In this initiative, biogas units are installed on the farmers‟ farms and they are required to use and maintain them. Unfortunately many of the biogas units installed end up being abandoned by the farmers. This study therefore is an attempt to investigate the poor adoptability of the biogas technology by animal farmers using Tororo district as a case study. The study involved establishment of coordinates of animals farms having the biogas technology installed on them using GPS instrument as well as administering questionnaires to owners of the farms/ biogas technologies. In addition, the economic viability of installing the biogas technology was determined using the net present worth method. A map showing the location of the biogas units in Tororo district was generated using arc GIS software and results of the questionnaire were presented using frequency tables. The results showed that farms with digesters are mainly in the sub-counties surrounding Tororo municipality. The main factors which affected adoption of biogas technology in Tororo district were education level, the cost of investment and, information availability. The commonest type of biogas technology adopted in the district was fixed dome with over 95% of animal farmers‟ possessing that type of biogas technology. The adoption rates are higher in male animal farmers than female. The main feedstock for the biogas digesters is cow dung and is used by 92% of animal farmers. The remaining biogas technology owners use either human excreta alone (4%) or a mixture of both cow dung and human excreta (4%). The Net present value obtained was -2811255 while the IRR was obtained to be -20%.This showed that the construction of the digesters is not a viable project mainly due to the high investment costs incurred. However, the project can become economically viable with a Net present value of 288743 if farmers are assisted with the initial investment by the government or other non governmental organizations. In conclusion, the main challenge to biogas adoption is limited capital for investment as well as the high labor costs. For adoption of biodigesters to be sustainable, the initial costs should be subsidized by either the government or authorities. Farmers also ought to be trained on proper operation and use of the biodigesters. This will help negate the need for hire of labor