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SEED Nepal has launched a Project on "Converting Waste Agricultural Biomass into Resource"

Introduction to Project on "Converting Waste Agricultural Biomass into Resource"

Name of the Project       :               Converting Waste Agricultural Biomass into Resource

Project Location               :               Madhyapur Thimi Municipality, Bhaktapur District, Kathmandu Valley

Implementation              :               Implemented by Society for Environment and Economic Development Nepal  (SEED Nepal) with Madhyapur Thimi Municipality as partner
With the support of UNEP, DTIE, International Environmental Technology Center (IETC), Osaka, Japan

Project Duration              :               15 months (from July 2009 – September 2010)

This project is in direct support of Bali Strategic Plan for Capacity Building and Technology Support. It is aimed that local capacity will be strengthened in data collection and analysis to develop baseline scenarios for cities/countries on quantification and characterization of waste agricultural biomass as well as on prevailing management systems including regulations/policies. It is also aimed that local capacity is built for identification of appropriate technologies and assessment of their potential for resource conservation and GHG emissions reduction. It is also aimed that local capacity will be strengthened on procurement and implementation of the EST with operation and maintenance skills.

Transforming biomass waste into a source of energy is very relevant from the above perspective. Resource augmentation by utilizing waste biomass has emerged as a major issue in both developed and developing countries. There are few important motivational factors for converting waste biomass into a resource:

  1. Resource (incl. energy) production.  Waste biomass contains precious resources which could be obtained in the form of material or energy to reduce pressure on natural resources which are required to support economic development and improved living standards. This could also be in line with strategies for poverty alleviation through income generation activities and through reducing costs for obtaining energy to support livelihoods.
  2. GHG reductions. These reductions take place on two accounts. Burning or decomposition of waste biomass produces GHG emissions and proper management of waste biomass would reduce these GHG emissions. So far, most of the waste biomass is left in the fields and to clear the land for planting next crop, farmers use open burning, which creates local air pollution as well as GHG emissions (CO2). The waste biomass that is left over the months, gets rotten and generates methane; thus creating GHG emissions. Hence, converting that waste biomass into an energy source, GHG emissions, which are caused due to open burning or from rotten waste biomass, could be avoided in addition to the GHG emissions, which are offset due to use of this alternative energy source.
  3. Reducing Environmental Degradation. Open dumping of waste agricultural biomass causes water, soil and air quality degradation in the local environment. In addition to this agro waste if not managed properly also leads to the reduction of the aesthetic value of the environment. Converting waste biomass into energy diverts the waste away from the environment into a process through which a valuable resource (energy) is generated.


The objective of the overall project is to assist the Local Government in identification and implementation of Environmentally Sound Technology (EST) for converting waste agricultural biomass into energy/material source.

The project will build the local capacity to identify and implement EST for waste agricultural biomass recycling and assess their potential for resource conservation and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction as well as for their feasibility with respect to local socio-economic and environmental characteristics. The operability and benefits of the selected ESTs will be demonstrated through pilot project.

Expected results/outputs to be achieved

  • Training materials on characterization and quantification of waste agricultural biomass and assessment of its current management system
  • Baseline report on characterization and quantification of waste agricultural biomass with future projections for project area
  • Baseline report on assessment of current waste agricultural biomass management system and practices at national and local level
  • A report on the issues of concern
  • A report on identification, assessment and selection of EST for converting waste agricultural biomass into material/energy
  • Detailed report on pilot project with economic and environmental feasibility and recommendation on policies. This report includes detailed designs and implementation strategy of the EST for pilot project.
  • Implementation of EST
  • Training materials for  operation and maintenance of EST
  • Generic guidelines on the process to develop strategies and projects for converting waste agricultural biomass into material/energy

Expected Benefits
The expected benefits from the implementation of the Project are presented below:

  • The Waste Agricultural Biomass (WAB) from the project area will be utilized to develop valuable resource, which may be material or energy or both. There will be, thus, wealth creation from waste.
  • Employment opportunity will be created for converting the waste into resource. There will be involvement of the marginalized group or community in the conversion or collection and transportation process. Thus the quality of life for the marginalized community is expected to improve from the implementation of the project.
  • Although there will be many outputs including study reports, the main output from the project will be the establishment of the demonstration unit on Environmentally Sustainable Technology (EST) for converting the WAB into resource. This will be a good asset for the partner (local government).
  • Presently WAB gets rot in the fields generating and dispersing very harmful Methane gas into the atmosphere. Methane is a strong green house gas contributing to global warming. The conversion of WAB into resource will mitigate the global warming due to reduction in the GHGs.
  • The project with the support of UNEP, DTIE, International Environmental Technology Center (IETC) will build the local capability to execute and implement such environmental technology in the country. This will be useful for replication of such projects in other areas of the country.
  • The project will open up eyes due to baseline studies conducted and from the interaction programmes conducted among the stakeholders.
  • The project will also develop strategies and guidelines, which will be helpful for the  replication of such projects in the other parts of the country