What is Kubeko?
Kubeko is a set of low-cost biowaste processing equipment designed for smallholder farmers in West Africa to efficiently manage and generate income from biowaste, a by-product of agricultural production and processing.
How does it work?
Kubeko equipment is prefabricated for easy on-site assembly and is produced in two forms – a composter and a biodigester - producing solid and liquid compost and cooking gas. Current processing technologies are either thermal, mechanical, or biological. The latter process involves breaking waste down through fermentation, typically requiring concrete fixed dome digesters, which are neither mobile nor designed to digest matter other than manure.
The Kubeko composter and biodigester are both specifically designed to ferment agricultural post-harvest by-products. Biowaste represents two to five times the quantity of crops or produce sold, amounting to 30 million tonnes of waste disposed of annually in Côte d’Ivoire. Noël N’guessan believes that by using this waste, Kubeko can help Ivorians generate extra income, improving the lives of thousands of farmers and their families.
The composter is fed and aerated daily for 15 days. The equipment’s aeration can be configured to run on an energy grid or on solar power. Roughly 400 kg of organic waste produces 150 kg of compost each month. The biodigester transforms green waste, liquid and solid, into cooking gas and liquid compost.
What is the challenge? What is the solution?
Kubeko provides an option to directly transform biowaste into compost and cooking gas through the fermentation process, creating a value-added product for those trapped in the cycle of poverty. Farmers can also use their own compost, improving the quality of their own produce. Fifty composters have been installed to date in cocoa, palm oil and mango farms. Two biodigesters are currently running on cassava farms on a trial basis.