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Biogas goes East

FARMAGAS, an EU project, focuses on supporting biogas production in high-potential countries. First training workshops for farmers and other stakeholders have been successfully completed in Poland, Hungary and Romania.

Bremerhaven, 3rd November 2010. Sustainable energy production from renewable resources, for example from biogas, is becoming more and more well-known. However, it is still scarcely put into practice, particularly in the new EU Member States. There are various opportunities for farmers to apply this technology and therefore they are one of a number of target groups when focusing on its dissemination. It is necessary to identify the best approach - adapted to the local situation - with which to treat agricultural residues and to make this information accessible to farmers and other stakeholders.

FARMAGAS, an EU-funded project coordinated by the research institute ttz Bremerhaven, aims to support the propagation of biogas production in high-potential European countries. Through knowledge transfer and know-how dissemination, FARMAGAS will contribute to increasing the utilization of waste and residues from the primary production sector, particularly on eastern European farms. The overall objective of the first workshops in Poland, Hungary and Romania was to introduce the concept of the FARMAGAS project, to present results from the AGROBIOGAS project, and to provide further biogas-related information. Selected and adapted AGROBIOGAS tools were a special feature presented to the participants. These tools included guidelines on biogas plant operation, a tool to support decision-making when investing in a biogas plant, and a simulation programme, which can be used to forecast the performance and results of co-digestion processes. The participants included farmers, representatives from agricultural ministries, researchers, local politicians, as well as energy providers, NGOs and others.

The workshops generated a keen interest in the target audience, demon-strating the general interest in the biogas sector in Poland, Hungary and Romania. Nevertheless, the process of biogas plant implementation has only just started. In the opinion of stakeholders in these countries, fur-ther activities are urgently needed to provide incentives and combat barriers.

The workshop in Poland took place on 21 - 22 September 2010 at the Agricultural Advisory Centre (CDR) in Brwinow near Warsaw and in Koczala in the northern Pomeranian province. The Polish Association of Research and Applied Agriculture was the partner in charge and hosted 15 participants. The Hungarian workshop was held on 23 - 24 September in Kecskemét near Budapest. The Hungarian Interprofessional Organisation for Fruit and Vegetables was the partner in charge of its organisation - around 70 participants attended this lively event. The Romanian training was held on 27 - 28 September at the Academy of Agricultural and Forestry Sciences of Bucharest. The Romanian National Agriculture Producers Federation was in charge of its organisation; around 50 people took part in the sessions.

Next FARMAGAS workshops are at 11 and 12 November 2010 in Szentes, Hungary, from 29-30 November 2010, in Mikolow, Poland and in Timisoara, Romania, from 7-8 December 2010. In 2010 FARMAGAS became a "Selected Landmark" in the German competition "365 Landmarks in the Land of Ideas". For more information visit www.farmagas.eu.

ttz Bremerhaven is an innovative provider of research services and oper-ates in the field of application-oriented research and development. Under the umbrella of ttz Bremerhaven, an international team of experts is working in the areas of food, environment, health and consulting services.

Contact: Christian Colmer

Head of Communication and Media ttz Bremerhaven Fischkai 1 D-27572 Bremerhaven (Germany) Phone: +49 (0)471 48 32 -124 Fax: +49 (0)471 48 32 - 129 ccolmer@ttz-bremerhaven.de <www.ttz-bremerhaven.de>

idw :: 03.11.2010