A cooperative of farmers on Evian impluvium uses a collective biodigester to improve nutrient efficiency, protect groundwater quality, reduce fertilisation costs, while producing biogas for the participating municipalities.

A contribution from Danone Ecosystem Fund

Why does it matter?

Farmers may face issues while managing manure spreading on their pastures in terms of timing and dosage. It can be challenging to achieve nutrient efficiency and manure excess is likely to contaminate groundwater. In contrast, digested manure and expert nutrient management can help reduce fertilisation costs among other benefits.

How did we solve this?

41 farmers organised themselves in a cooperative to provide manure to a biodigester owned by the municipal authorities on Evian Impluvium. The manure is retrieved by the biodigester company staff and it is converted into digestate (30.000 m3/year) and biogas (injected into the public gas network).

Farmers benefit from a forecast plan for digestate spreading and the cooperative, that owns tractors, barrels and other technical high-performance equipment deals with the operations. This allows farmers to save up to 70% of fertilization expenses and ground water to remain the same quality as 200 years ago.


Opportunities for other farms?

Manure management and nutrient planning can be designed and introduced into any farming system with fields. The use of a biodigester is not mandatory to achieve nutrient efficiency, however, it can be interesting in the context where stakeholders can support the investment for common use and benefits.

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