Promotion of efficient rubber drying houses to reduce GHG emissiona
About the Implementing organization
Name: Human and Environment Development Organization (HEDO)
Country: Sri Lanka
Year of establishment: 2006
Type of organization: Legally recognized non-profit status
The innovative model of efficient rubber drying houses was developed from a basic model introduced by the Rubber Research Department of Sri Lanka. This model is widely accepted by the community due to its increased savings from energy requirements and the high quality of the produced rubber sheets. HEDO constructed five drying houses following the model which are operating from waste sawdust which would have otherwise been disposed along river banks or open burning resulting in environmental degradation. The use of saw dust reduced the use of firewood which is supplied from the small forest patches in the surrounding areas. As a result, the vast amount of greenhouse gases emitted in the production process is drastically reduced. Further, these efficient drying houses enabled the beneficiaries to reach the highest quality in rubber sheets which resulted in higher incomes. This will ensure the existence of the forest cover made up of rubber plantations.
Type of Action
Protection / Sustainable use / Pollution prevention, clean up
Sustainable Development Element
Jobs and livelihoods / Renewable energy / Climate action
Rubber plantations make up around 80% of the forest cover in the Kegalle district. Conventional rubber drying houses need firewood for their operation. Small forest patches surrounding the rubber plantations are usually cleared for logging. This initiative promoted a firewood free model of energy efficient drying house and funded for the establishment of 5 model drying houses. These have saved 43 Tonns of firewood from October to the end of November 2016.
Heavy application of weedicides was carried out to clear the under growth of rubber estates .This causes loss of bio diversity, soil erosion & land degradation in the rubber estates. The community was informed about the negative outcomes of weedicide usage. As a result most of the weed removal is carried out by the grass cutters. This consumes more time than the application of weedicides but on the long run it is beneficial to the soil and will be helpful to achieve FCC organic certifications in the future.
Sustainable Development Impacts
The energy efficient rubber drying houses provide a significant energy saving due to the usage of saw dust replacing the firewood. The sophisticated design of the drying houses is basically engineered for energy saving. The burner is placed below the drying house in a locked chamber to minimize the heat loss due to convention. A sieve plate is used to regulate the heat and to disperse it regularly throughout the drying chamber. On the floor of the drying house stones are dispersed to retain the heat. A chimney is used to remove the smoke. Moreover, short duration of combustion of saw dust (24hours) generate an equal amount of energy as that of the conventional smoke houses using firewood. Therefore these drying houses are capable of providing a substantial energy saving while minimizing the GHG emissions.
Regional small scale rubber planters and tappers are strengthened through this project to produce high quality rubber sheets with eco-friendly technologies. As demonstration models efficient smoke houses and bio gas plants were established with community participation.The NGO has developed another model specialized for women, which has simple operation.
The NGO had to overcome issues such as market monopoly, price dropping and reluctance of buyers to purchase high quality rubber. Therefore, the NGO suggests to approach the market as a group so that they have more bargain power. Moreover, they plan to obtain the FSC certificate as a group. The NGO plans to get the support of Rubber Development Department (RDD) of Sri Lanka which has the legal authority to overcome black market practices etc, to upscale the initiative to the national scale.
The innovative model of energy efficient rubber drying houses has become very popular around the project area and many people have moved from conventional smoke houses to the modern ones. The NGO has plans to replicate this project with the support of RDD in newly rubber grown areas of Sri Lanka as well. Awareness programmes and hands on experience programmes will be utilized to promote the modern technology.
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