Innovative model of rubber drying houses to minimize GHG emission and deforetsration
About the Implementing organization
Name: Promotion of Bio Gas Technology & Efficient Rubber Drying Houses to reduce Green House Gas emissions associated with the rubber industry in the midland forests of Kegalle district.
Country: Sri Lanka
Year of establishment: 2014
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. 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
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.
Sustainable Development Impacts
The initiative was to uplift the economy by leading the beneficiaries to produce highest quality rubber sheets. HEDO introduced rain guards for small scale rubber plantations. This is helpful in maintaining the rubber latex collection during the rainy season. With the using of these rain guards their living conditions have become more stable through a continuous income for the daily wagers. Moreover, mushroom cultivation was introduced as an alternative source of income to the smallholder rubber planters.
The sophisticated design of the drying houses is basically engineered for energy saving. Therefore due to the short duration of combustion (24hours), relatively less amount of GHG is emitted.
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 had to overcome issues such as market monopoly, price dropping and the reluctance of buyers to purchase high-quality rubber. Therefore, the NGO suggests approaching 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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