Biogas is a sustainable energy that contributes to improved health and provides socio-economic benefits. However, biogas production has an impact on an essential household resource; labor. Therefore, households need to efficiently allocate labor to activities on the farm, off-farm and for biogas production. There is little empirical evidence on the factors influencing labor allocation within farm households, thus limiting biogas technology promoters from creating a favorable environment for uptake. This study fills this gap. Data were obtained from households with biogas digesters in central Uganda through a snow-balling sampling technique. A household model was used, and labor share equations were estimated by a Seemingly Unrelated Regression model. Own activity labor returns showed a positive relationship to the respective labor share, but cross-labor returns were negatively related. Female-headed households were more likely to allocate labor to biogas activities. Distance to water source had a negative impact on labor allocation to biogas activities, while the number of cattle owned by the household had a positive impact. Age of the household head and household size had a positive impact on labor allocation to non-farm activities. Household labor should be critically analyzed before investing in biogas digesters to increase the success of the technology.
Bibliographical noteThis work was supported by funding from the African Union Commission to the Afri-flame network under the project: Adaptation of small-scale biogas digesters for use in rural households in Sub-Saharan Africa, grant number AURG/2/058/2012.
- Biogas technology