An integrated eco-model of agriculture and small-scale industry in craft villages toward cleaner production and sustainable development in rural areas e A case study from Mekong delta of Viet Nam
Journal: Journal of Cleaner Production
Authors: Le Thanh Hai, Hans Schnitzer, Tran van Thanh, Nguyen T.P. Thao
Abstract: The purpose of this work is to develop and prove an eco-based sustainable livelihood model coupling to environmental protection at the craft villages in rural areas. Based on ecological engineering, waste reduction techniques, waste conversion and recycling techniques combined with end-of-pipe treatment techniques, this research developed a model by integrating several technologies. We integrate components such as crop, fishpond, livestock farm, earthworm farm, biogas digester, family household, small-scale industry with craft production and wastewater treatment into one common system in an ecological manner leading to sustainable development of the craft villages. This model allows economic and environmental benefits due to reutilization of wastes from food processing for feeding at livestock farms, which helps to reduce feeding costs. Further, wastes from livestock farms are partly split for composting reducing pollutants load into wastewater treatment plants and so minimizing the capacity needed there and, therefore, the construction costs for biogas plants. Wastes converted into compost fertilize crops and feed earthworms and the utilization of food waste for pig feeding contributes to increased household income of the craft villages in rural areas. Additionally, anaerobic technique coupling to available natural wetlands lower operation costs for wastewater treatment systems. A conceptual framework was developed for the model design and comprehensive application in different cases. The model was demonstrated and proven at a household in the rice starch processing craft village in Dong Thap province, Mekong delta area, Vietnam. The model demonstration showed a winewin solution for households with major benefits by reduction of 50% cost for feeding animals, 50-75% investment cost for the biogas plant and 80-90% operation cost for the wastewater treatment plant. Biogas and compost produced led to more income to the households. Finally yet importantly, quality of outlet wastewater flow now meets the local discharge standards as required by country regulations.