Masters Degree Thesis Proposal

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Masters Degree Thesis Proposal
Chapter – 1
Introduction to the Study
1.1 Background

Nepal is naturally a beautiful country. It has have abundance potentiality in agriculture, in
spite of its tough topography, its potentiality in agro product is favored by its peculiar
climatic zones and geography. Nepal is primarily an agricultural country with about 26.6
million human populations out of which 83 percent population resides in rural area and
78 percent people are highly dependent on agriculture (CBS 2011). Timber has been and
still is the major source of energy daily used by massive rural population in Nepal. This
total dependence on fire wood as the source of energy for cooking has resulted in
deterioration of the quality and quantity of forests and has posed a serious threat in
maintaining ecological balance, thereby manifesting various problems like deforestation,
flood, Global warming, soil erosion , landslides, climate change and severe health
problems. The pressure on forest resource for energy fulfillment is considerably
increasing due to high population growth in rural areas causing scarcity of energy for
cooking as well as other various purposes. As a consequence, many people in the rural
areas are burning livestock dung and other agricultural residues as an alternative of
timber. This has been one of the factors in deterioration of environment and soil fertility
in the country. Nevertheless, the energy pattern and its utilities in rural Nepal have
created a serious health problem to rural housewives. However, it is felt a bit earlier to
capitalize on the alternative energy sources like biomass energy has still not into practice
to the extent at which its prospects are realized in rural development.

1.2 History of Biogas
Although biogas was first discovered by Alessandro Volta in 1776 and the presence of
combustible gas methane in the farmyard manure was pronounced by the Humphery Davy in the
early 1800s, yet it was only the oil crisis of 1973 which led to the active promotion of biogas
technology. While international interests in these uses have been most noticeable in the technical
and developing communities in the last 15-20 years, serious development efforts in this field
began about 50 years ago in Asia.
1.3 History of Biogas Development in Nepal

Nepal has a history of over 50 years of biogas technology development. The first
historical biogas system was introduced by Father B. R Saubolle in 1955 at St. Xavier’s
School at Godavari Lalitpur as his personal initiatives. It was in the Agriculture Year
1974/75 that the government of Nepal launched special program to promote biogas

technology and installed as many as 250 units of biogas plants (KVIC) in different parts
of the country under the supervision of government and non government organizations.
Since then, the technology has proved its worth in Nepal to draw interest and
involvement of various private and public sector institutions including the donor agencies
has groomed up.
1.4 Statement of the Problem
The problem that will be deserted in this stipulated research is “what is the impact of
biogas in Rural Community Development/ Rural livelihood?”
According to MOF (2007), 85.5 percent of the Nepalese populations still burn traditional
fuels (fuel wood, agricultural residues and dung cake) inside their homes. Fuel wood
being the principal energy source among these biomass fuels, its demand far exceeds the
sustainable supply (Rijal 1998). In addition, there are other socio-economic,
environmental and health related adverse impacts, many of which are disproportionately
suffered by the women and the poors.
On the other hand, Nepal is dependent on the imported fossil fuel; the rising price of
fossil fuel in the international market is a burden on its foreign exchange and trade
deficit, it on the other aspect has weakened the consumption capacity of basic goods.
Due to these manifold adverse impacts associated with traditional biomass fuels, there
have been efforts from all sides to substitute these traditional energy sources with
alternative energy sources, which are cleaner and greener. It is ironic that Nepal, endowed
with one of the largest hydropower potentials in the world, that so far a very low percent
of its existing potential is only tapped.
In addition to this following questions will be answered.
a. What is the impact of biogas in rural energy conservation?
b. What is the impact of biogas in rural environment conservation?
c. Its impact on rural people’s health (direct and indirect/ short term and long term)
d. What is its impact to rural poverty alleviation?
1.5 Research Objective
The general objective of the study is to figure prospects of biogas installation in terms of
the socio-economic and environmental benefits to the rural community of Nepal.
The specific objectives of the study are:
• To calculate average income saving due to non-burning of fuel wood and average saving from
• To find out the health, economic and environmental benefits of biogas plants.
• To estimate the emission reduction and explore contribution and potentiality of biogas projects
as Clean Development Mechanism.

1.6 Hypothesis of the Study
In order to assess the above objectives of the study it can be hypothesized that there is no
significant difference between the non biogas users and biogas users in socio-economic,
health, energy and environment conservation aspect in rural area of Nepal.
i.e. The other hypothesis that can be tested from this stipulated dissertation is that there is
no significant difference between the biogas non users and bio gas users

No significance difference between the Health of biogas users and non biogas users in
rural area
Bio gas uses and non users have similar contribution to the rural environment and energy

1.7 Significance of the Study
Since, the study is completely concerned with the prospects and impact of Biogas plant in
rural livelihood, so it gives the clear pictorial view of impact, with the pros and cons of
Biogas in various factors of rural development such as health of rural people, sanitation,
energy conservation and environmental conservation. The rationale of the study lies in
the fact obtained from the analysis of the respondent view towards the Biogas plant
installation. That’s why the study is of great valued from both socio-economic as well as
academic point of view.
1.8 Scope and Limitation of the Study
1. The study is mainly confined to Dhorphirdi VDC of Tanahun District of Nepal.
2. Methane leakage calculation in the study includes the leakage only from the slurry tank but not
from the compost tank, the inlet or the pipes, valve or burner.
3. The study on CDM is limited within the potential Carbon Abatement Revenue from the
reduction of fuel wood due to biogas installation in the VDC.
4. INGO/NGO working in the field of health, environment, public awareness, poverty alleviation,
women empowerment and youth mobilization has not been considered and study has focused
only on the benefits of biogas installation and its implication to rural livelihood.

As the study focus to the various components of the rural development it has not
addressed the rural education, rural infrastructure development and rural level of
1.9 Research Methodology
The study will explore the problem in a positive view, using descriptive research strategy
because it aims to know more about the components that are more likely to be
responsible for the rural livelihood development due to the installation of biogas plant
and its responsibility for improvement of rural health, environment and energy
conservation and its correlationship with social living. This research will enable the study
to look at the problem in both descriptive and exploratory manner. It will also look into
the problem by exploring the views of different set of respondents, as well as by
exploring different literatures related with the study.
Chapter - 2
Research Design & Methodology
2.1 Research Design
It is the blueprint for the collection of data, its measurement and analysis. It is a work
plan owing to the objective of the research. I will use descriptive research design; it is
because the characteristics I tend to study quires how and in what respect the biogas
plants help rural livelihood and what are its impacts to social life? On the other hand, i
tend to analyze and discover degree of interdependence between various characteristics

that are influenced by biogas. In descriptive research design i choose cross-sectional
study because of time limitation.
2.2 Nature and Types of Data
Data is a piece of fact, the wholesome aggregate of which gives the information. This
information in fact contributes to the inquiry of truth and approaches towards the reality.
The natures of data that will be used as per research question are:2.2.1 Primary data:
Primary data are the first hand data collected for the first time for a particular purpose of
investigation. In the due course of my investigation/research, primary data are collected
viz. observation, focus group discussion, interview, and questionnaire as per the
convenience to aid to my study.
Since, my study is more about descriptive baked by casual relationship; the primary data
are helpful for generalization. The primary data can be assembled.
2.2.2 Secondary data:
Those data which are already been collected for any other purpose or investigation are the
secondary data. Since, this research is mounted on the base of description and analysis,
secondary data is the must. Therefore, secondary data plays the role of corner stone for
this research. The various internal and external sources are used for acquiring the
secondary data. The various sources consist of: Ministry of forest
 Central bureau of statistics
 Ministry of energy
 Alternative energy promotion centre
 District forest office
 Various biogas companies
 Google
 Bulletins/reports, etc.
2.3 Quantitative Research
Since, this research is more concentrated towards the prospects of biogas in rural area of
Nepal i.e. Dhorphirdi VDC Tanahun. The degree and depth of impact of biogas plant is
different in different aspects of rural livelihood. On this regard quantitative research is
carried out. This type of research is very useful to quantify the information or findings in
the numerals. Quantifying of logical information to numerals is the best way to come to
inference. It is because it helps to analyze the calculated information with the standard
normative values and helps in comparisons. The sample units are assembled by using
non-probability simple random sampling method.
This technique of research diagnoses the casual relationship between the parameters of
the population with the sample statistics. The relationship may be expressed in terms of
percentage, ratio, etc.
2.4 Qualitative Research
Since, the objective of my research is to analyze the depth and degree of impact of biogas
plant in rural livelihood in Dhorphirdi VDC. The qualitative analysis of the socio
economic components that are aided or prospects due to biogas plant are of great valued.

The attitude, awareness and perception of various stakeholders- biogas users and non
users etc. can be studied through qualitative research method. However, every
information cannot be quantified nor all the data can be interpreted quantitatively so
various elements can be interpreted in qualitative nature.

2.5 Data Collection Process
This dissertation is more descriptive in nature so the data collection can be done in these
 Field study
 Field survey
 Focus group discussion
2.6 Data Collection Procedure
Data is a piece of fact. The major motive to collect data is to generate and generalize the
information at various purposes. The major objective is to access easy and effective
decision making, reliable and valid conclusion. I will collect the primary data via
observation, questionnaire, interview and focus group discussion. This data are more
authentic and bias less. So, it greatly analyzes the research problem. The procedure of
data collection begins from the classification of the stakeholders. More precisely, I call it
determination of sample size from the population. In this investigation all the
demographic population of Dhorphirdi VDC implicitly or explicitly one who is user and
non user of biogas comes under the universe or population frame. Primarily i target my
investigation to biogas users and non users and prospect users followed by observations
at various household in respect to their socio economic, sanitation and living standard.
Since, according to the motive of my research, non-probabilistic sampling method is
used. The sample size is selected on the basis of cluster sampling method. Under this
method sample is selected, the sample i will select will be 10% households out of 2000
household of Dhorphirdi VDC including biogas users, non users and prospect users. All
together a sample size of 200 household is taken under my inquiry. I will distribute the
questionnaire having both type i.e. open ended and close ended in order to acquire
reliable information by making the respondent comfortable at ease to provide the
information. The pictorial sampling plan that I am going to carry out during my research
is as under:

2.7 Sampling Plan

Biogas users

No. of household

Type of Inquiry




Biogas non users


Prospect biogas users As per requirement Questionnaire/ Interview/ FGD


Local community
Members of
community forest



As per requirement Questionnaire/ Interview/ FGD
As per requirement Questionnaire/ Interview/ FGD

An unstructured interview and focus group discussion is conducted with prospect biogas
users, local community and opinion leaders and members of community forest to obtain
more information. The secondary data are collected via various sources like
 Ministry of forest
 Central bureau of statistics
 Ministry of energy
 Alternative energy promotion centre
 District forest office
 Various biogas companies
 Bulletins/reports, etc.
 Google
After the collection of these data, the data analysis tools are used to acquire informative
results. My research work in progress will be guided by Professor of Central
Department of Rural Development, Tribhuwan University Campus, Kirtipur; my
research instructor will be of great valued to reach to better conclusion.
2.8 Data Processing and Analysis
The collected raw data can be molded as per the requirement and objectives of the
research. The various steps that are to be followed are
2.8.1 Data Processing:
Editing: It is the process of examining the collected raw data to detect error and
omissions. So to overcome the possible error in research editing is of great value.
Coding: In order to make the research more systematic and scientific, assigning
of numerals or symbols to answer is done, so coding helps to allocate the answer
whenever necessary.
Classification: The result of research study is at large volume in the form of raw
data. So in order to simplify it should be classified into homogeneous groups, so a
meaningful relationship can be profoundly studied.
Tabulation: After the necessary classification of data the next step is to arrange
the data in respective tables/ charts/ diagrams, etc. The tabulation is essential in order to
systematize and logical arrangement of data for further manipulation. The reason why the
tabulation is necessary is as under.
 To conserve space, reduce descriptive statement into visual/pictorial form.
 It facilitates the summation of items and detection of errors and omissions.
 Provides a basis of benchmark for statistical computation.

Aids in simple comparison.

Analysis is the means to estimate the value/s of unknown parameters of the population
from the sample statistics and hypothesis testing in order to reach the conclusion. And
therefore my research analysis is divided into two categories viz. descriptive and
inferential analysis.
Descriptive Analysis: It incorporates the study of distribution of one variable.
This study provides us the information about the various impacts of biogas plant, their
intensity and their span in socio-economic prospective of rural households.
Inferential Analysis: Basically i opt to use SPSS, to analyze the data and on the
other aspect this inferential analysis simultaneously analyzes more than two variables.
The interdependence between the variables, their correlation, and variance analysis are
employed to draw the inference. To the greatest of my knowledge, i also opt to use F-test,
Chi - Square (2) test and if possible other statistical tools for the study of relationship.

2.9 Research Schedule chart:
S. No. Activities
Proposal Writing
Proposal Approval/ Submission
Preliminary Research
Assessment of Preliminary Research
Data Collection
Data Processing and Analysis
Report Writing
Total Time

Proposed Duration/Days

Chapter - 3
3.1 Theoretical Framework
The theory that supports the aim of this study is that the development of rural area can be
achieved only through the infrastructure development and social empowerment followed
by social mobilization. This in turn seems to be viable only if the fundamental requisites
of rural people are fulfilled. Thus energy consumption pattern and use of non renewable
and eco friendly energy source (bio energy) has positive impact to rural livelihood.
Hence, if the parameters such as health & sanitation, environment conservation, use of
renewable sources of energy are some of the positive indicators of rural development. In
frat rural development depends up on these above mention parameters.
On this regards the relation between dependent and independent variable can be
identified and related as:
Independent Variables
Dependent Variable
Rural Livelihood Development
Bio-Gas Plant(BGP)
 Health and Sanitation of Rural People
 Living Standard and consumption pattern
 Socio-economic condition
 Environmental condition & degree of
 Infracture development

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