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India Stoves Assessment and Commercial Pilot

Over half of the world's people, including most in developing countries, depend on biomass for their primary cooking fuel. EnterpriseWorks/VITA (EWV) has a demonstrated track record of mass sales of consumer-oriented designed stoves that use less biomass, reduce indoor air pollution, last longer, and are safer than traditional stoves.  In addition to these consumer health and environmental benefits, the manufacture and sale of these stoves provides employment opportunities for actors throughout the stoves value chain in local economies. 

In 2006 EWV, as part of Shell Foundation’s Breathing Space Program and in partnership with Shell Foundation and local affiliates, completed a stoves assessment in two states of India, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.  Objectives of the assessment were to determine and rank the major selling points target consumers require to purchase a new stove; determine local manufacturers’ scale of operations and cost structures to assess how they might potentially feed into stove manufacturing scenarios; design and test a series of prototype stoves that meet consumer and manufacturing requirements; and provide a consolidated stoves roll out strategy.

Upon completion of the assessment, Shell Foundation engaged EWV to undertake a commercial stoves pilot project in the same two states.  Three stoves types suitable to the findings of the assessment were developed and produced and manufacturer(s) for stove production were selected. The ongoing project will offer support to manufacturers on product design, development and the manufacture of each stove during production period; develop distribution chains, as well as a marketing campaign and sales promotion materials; and monitor the product in distribution channels and consumer sales during the commercial sales period.