Step towards cleaner cooking in rural areas

Envirofit International has introduced a range of “clean-burning and biomass-based cooking stoves” in India, starting with the rural homes in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Envirofit’s announcement on its website says:

Designed by an international team of globally recognized scientists and engineers, the cookstoves reduce toxic emissions by as much as 80%, while using 50% less fuel and reducing cooking cycle time by 40%. The cookstoves have been developed as a result of a partnership between Envirofit and Shell Foundation (UK) initially launched in 2007 to engineer and deliver clean burning biomass stoves that are affordable and attractive to people who are impacted by Indoor Air Pollution (IAP). 

Stove in action

Stove in action

Details from Business Standard article:

Grameen Kuta, a leading microfinance institution, is financing these stoves. NGOs like Myrada, through its self-help groups, The Tamil Nadu Foundation and the Cauvery Women’s Federation distribute the product.

These are being sold in over 700 villages in Karnataka and 300 villages in Tamil Nadu through a multi-tier distribution strategy. Five different models have been introduced, priced between Rs 500 and Rs 2,000.

We see this as an excellent example of NGOs coming together (Envirofit and Shell Foundation) and working with academia (Colorado State University and other well recognized institutions) to solve an issue that largely affects the rural populace of third world countries. The product born as a result of this confluence is of high standards and conforms to all relevant norms – it is available over a fairly broad, yet affordable price range.
While you are at it, you could also read about Envirofit’s 2-Stroke Retrofit effort.

Source: Business Standard

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2 Responses

  1. Read about this one a little while ago. That it is successful in hundreds of villages probably indicates that the technology delivers the promise.

    The price still seems expensive compared to mud cooking stoves (may be the NGOs absorbed some of its cost?).

    There are also a few other innovative products like this one

    http://ruralindia.blogspot.com/2008/07/rollable-water-container-innovation-for.html

    targeted towards the villages.

    I wonder if we get so carried away by the buzz word “social entrepreneurship” that sometimes we fail to see that all we really need is social franchising (if you will).

    One may just setup a shop with a variety of such products, stove for better cooking, rollable water cans for more convenient way of fetching water… one product to address one factor that may increase the standard of living.

    On a different note, Envirofit seems to invite people to get involved in sales. None would be better sales (wo)men than people from the villages where word-of-mouth is probably the most effective marketing strategy. [sorry for the long comment, as you know…I am quite a chatter-box!]

  2. […] to a post on Think Change India, these stoves reduce toxic emissions by up to eighty per cent, whilst using […]

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