Friday, March 9, 2007


Here in brief I would like to share my experiences of 7 months period, regarding introducing efficient stoves in two villages.

Vulnerability and Adaptability to Climate Change Programme is being implemented in Srirangapur Village, Kondurg Mandal and Kothur Village, Midjil Mandal, Mahabubnagar District, Andhra Pradesh State. They are located in the semi-arid area. Energy (Rural Biomass) is one of the focal themes of the project.

As part of programme a reconnaissance study for understanding the existing stoves was done in these two villages . It was found that majority of the existing stoves were three stone stoves, which were less efficient and release large quantity of smoke. To find a solution this problem the author established Rural Energy Lab and developed “Good Stove” a prototype, based on Larry Winiarsky’s principles of designing efficient stoves, and conducted community level workshops for demonstration of Good Stove models, in these two villages. Although several other efficient stove prototypes were developed, only this particular model was adapted by community for the reasons mentioned in poster 2 and below. Intensive awareness on the need to adopt efficient stoves was created through local folk plays, wall writings and paintings.

Once community started understanding, on pilot basis seven households in each village were selected and on demand basis the Good Stoves were constructed, replacing the old stoves. In the process it was found that women who were ready for adopting the Good stoves were literate and were young and middle aged. Other problems, which they were facing was shortage of fuelwood (especially in Srirangapur Village). Other attractive adoptability factors were, low cost of the stove as the raw material required was locally available (bricks, clay and dung) and easy to construct and maintain if trained once, efficiency (25-30% fuel wood is conserved as compared to old stoves for the same amount of cooking over older stoves), good heat transfer, less hazardous as all the flames and embers are contained in the stove and more importantly very less smoke is released as compared to their older traditional stoves. Three months was the pilot field testing phase during this period improvement in the design was made based on the continuous feed back from the women. Apart from rice, people ate Jowar(Sorghum) roti every day in these villages. As this bread has less elasticity, it was breaking while lifting it from the roti making plate on the floor onto the pan. The people explained that this is because the height of the Good Stove was relatively high as compared to the traditional stoves. This extra height was to create chimney effect and increase the efficiency of the stove. Although people were explained several times about the significance of this height for reducing the smoke and increasing the efficiency, they still complained about the practical problem of making Jowar roti. This issue has become a major problem for adoptability of Good Stoves in these villages, therefore keeping in view the peoples needs, two inches height of the good stove was reduced (compromising on reducing the chimney effect to some extent). With this change made, people were very happy and within next couple of months 227 Households have adopted these stoves covering and about 70% of the Households in these two villages. There is great demand for these stoves wherever they were demonstrated. Presently total about 270 households have adopted Good Stoves. Two jumbo Good Stoves were constructed to two Schools located in the project villages, where mid-day meals is being cooked and served to about 150 children.


This experience shows that however efficient our technology could be, but for sustainable implementation of the community level interventions, the participatory technology development processes are necessary.

The focus should be on the Community adaptability rather then Community adoptability.

Please see the following link for marketing analysis:

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