The Crispy ‘Biogas-Chip’ Business

It has been five years since Mugiyati first started her chips business in Getasan, Semarang, Central Java. The 40-year-old said she was inspired by Mbah Warung where she works. Being inspired has led to running a developing business. She now sells her chips at nearby kiosks. “It’s doing pretty good. The money adds to my income,” she said.

She also noticed that having used biogas since last year has helped her homemade chips business. “I used to run this business only during dry seasons. It takes a long time to dry [the chips] on a rainy day. Besides, I used to buy LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) to cook them. So I actually suffered financial loss.”

Using home biogas has helped push down production cost. “I used to spend Rp 60,000 (USD 6) per month on LPG. But now, the fuel cost is close to none because I have been using biogas,” she said with a laugh.

This persevering woman also has a strategy in managing her finances. Every month she “pretends” to buy LPG, and then she hands the money to an arisan [a regular social gathering where members contribute to and take turns at winning an aggregate amount of money] group. Therefore, should at anytime she needs money, she can be rest assured that it is in the savings. “It is especially true if you are a peasant whose income is usually uncertain, so you have to set some money aside for savings,” she said. She has using this strategy for five months, and Mugiyati’s savings in the arisan group has come to a total of Rp 1.2 million (USD 120).

According to Mugiyati, owning a home biogas opens up a lot of business opportunities. “If it is possible for you start one with the help of biogas, do it. You will get double the advantage. Not only can you save fuel, you can also get some extra income,” she said firmly. (Mada Riani)

17 February 2012