The Chinese team implementing the China-aided Ministry of Youth and Sports (MYS) Bamboo & Rattan Weaving and Vegetable Production Training Program (BRWVPTP) has commenced the construction of structures for a biogas production plant at the Klay Agriculture Vocational
Training Center (KAVTC) in Klay District, Bomi County.
Presently being built is a piggery which will generate manure that will be utilized in producing the renewable energy. This will be followed by the construction of septic tanks and the remaining structures to finalize the facility. The team is also poised to erect a 40m x 50m vegetable greenhouse.
The endeavor, said BRWVPTP director Nei Yongdou, is in preparation for the transfer from Monrovia to Bomi of the agriculture component of the program, which encompasses setting up of the biogas system.
Chemists describe biogas as a mixture of different gases produced by the breakdown of organic matter in the absence of oxygen. Biogas can be produced from raw materials such as agricultural waste, manure, municipal waste, plant materials, sewage, green waste or food waste. According to the experts, biogas can be produced by anaerobic digestion (occurring in the absence of oxygen) with anaerobic organisms which digest material inside a closed system (oxygen free), or fermentation of biodegradable materials.
Speaking through his interpreter, Mr. Yongdou said when completed, the plant, which will be finalized at the end of December 2016, and the greenhouse will be utilized for production and teaching purposes.
“We have come to join the Ministry of Youth and Sports to build and use the system for the training of students of the center and other Liberians in the production of biogas and the construction of facilities to generate it,” said Mr. Yongdou.
Stressing its effectiveness, Yondou also promised to promote the use and production of the energy to other parts of Liberia.
“Biogas is very useful, especially in Africa, where people don’t have much energy for cooking and heating,” he said.
“So we want to promote biogas, beginning right here. This agriculture training school is the starting point. Together with the ministry, we are going to promote the use of biogas around the country,” he added.
The Chinese team will also plant citrus fruits and participate in the teaching of general agriculture, which is ongoing at KAVTC and covers vegetable, food, and tree crop production, as well as animal husbandry, piggery, poultry and fishery.
“We will work with the center to lay a good foundation for the students so they can equip themselves with knowledge in agriculture to help make Liberia bright,” Yongdou asserted.
Meanwhile, the director of KAVTC, Fredrick Massaquoi, has greeted the move by the Chinese team with optimism, saying it will “add value to the center.”
Under the supervision of the MYS Youth-on-the-Job Training Program, the BRWVPTP, which started in 2007, trains mainly illiterate, semi-literate and out-of-school youth for eight months in transforming bamboo and rattan products into modern furniture, while at the same time teaching them vegetable production.
Adding the biogas production component is a means of further enhancing the program, say MYS officials.