View Record

TitlePerceptions of rural households about the role and effect of biogas production on rural household income in Raymond Mhlaba Local Municipality
AuthorNgcobo, Lindiwe
SubjectBiomass energy -- South Africa -- Eastern Cape
SubjectRenewable energy sources -- South Africa -- Eastern Cape
SubjectSustainable living -- South Africa -- Eastern Cape
Format95 leaves
AbstractRural development efforts to reduce poverty and enhance food security and generally improve livelihoods in developing countries continue to be constrained by high energy cost. For that reason, renewable energy has been identified as a possible panacea to fill this gap. Renewable energy is cheaper, more accessible and environmentally sustainable and promotes inclusivity. Biogas is a renewable energy that is readily available and easy to use by poor rural households. The use of biogas digesters among households in rural areas of developing countries is a well-known technology. The potential for biogas in these areas has been demonstrated and a strong economic case has been made. However, its adoption and use have been lower than expectations possibly as result of non-economic considerations, including social issues about which rural people hold different perceptions. Perceptions of rural households are important because they influence the behaviour to a large extent. Since limited access to affordable energy in rural areas has encouraged government and private organisations to initiate biogas projects to overcome the challenge, it is important to ascertain the factors that affect attitudes towards the technology. The present study sought to explore perceptions of rural households about biogas production towards rural household income in the Raymond Mhlaba Local Municipality. Specifically, this research investigated the state of biogas project being implemented by the University of Fort Hare’s Institute of Technology (FHIT), the perceptions of respondents towards biogas production and determine the contribution of biogas consumption to rural income. The study also aimed to identify the factors affecting the adoption of biogas production in the study area. The study was carried out in Melani village in Raymond Mhlaba Local Municipality in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa and employed survey data obtained from 48 households who were enumerated to identify their perceptions on biogas production, with special emphasis on the role and effect contributed to rural income of Melani village. The study employed a cross-sectional research design and purposive sampling technique was used in data collection. Data were collected and captured in Excel and then analysed using the statistical package for social sciences (SPSS) Version 24 Descriptive statistics was used to examine socio-economic characteristics of households and state of biogas production in the area, Bivariate correlation analysis was used to determine the relationships among the key elements of perceptions of household towards biogas adoption, binary logistic model was used to estimate factors influencing adoption of biogas technology by households. The results show that women were dominant for both adopters and non-adopters of biogas. The majority of households were young with mean age of 40 years while for non-adopters were 65 years old on average. The results showed high levels of literacy amongst household adopters. Majority of the households for both adopters and non-adopters of biogas technology were married and unemployed and household size ranged from one to five persons, with social grants being dominant source of income. The bivariate correlation analysis suggests a positive effect of green pepper production and livestock ownership on biogas technology adoption. Age and level of education were negatively correlated with adoption of biogas. The cross tabulation analysis suggests that water scarcity, lack of knowledge about biogas technology, cattle ownership, lack of maintenance and repairing, flooded biogas digesters during rainy season are negatively associated with the uptake of biogas technology. The empirical results from binary logistic model suggest that land size was the key determinant of adoption behaviour towards biogas technology while age of the household head, source of income and level of education may have a negative influence on adoption of biogas technology. Based on the findings highlighted above, the study recommends strategies to encourage households to adopt biogas technology.
PublisherUniversity of Fort Hare
PublisherFaculty of Science & Agriculture