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Project: Biogas Cooking Equipment

Location

India

Summary

This project enables households in rural India get access to a 100% renewable energy method for cooking. Cooking on biogas is better for health, climate and the environment and saves households time and money.

Who is behind it?

FairClimateFund – a non-profit social enterprise focussed on developing Fairtrade projects that reduce carbon and benefit people who are most vulnerable to the effects of climate change.

Why did we choose this project?

Clean, safe and healthy food preparation has a huge range of benefits for both people and the planet. In India, a large part of the rural population (800 million people) still cooks on an open fire. Burning biomass makes an important contribution to greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution. Using wood for cooking is a cause of deforestation. Cooking on an open fire not only has adverse effects on the climate, it also has a negative impact on people’s health. In India, more than a million people die every year from inhaling harmful fumes from cooking. 

What do we most love about it?

We love that it’s Fairtrade and Gold Standard certified, ensuring that a fair, minimum income is generated for the families it supports. The farming families in this project are members of the Bagepalli Coolie Sangha (BCS), a Fairtrade certified democratic organization that has stood up for the interests of local farmers and agricultural workers for over 25 years. This approach makes sure the income is sufficient to cover all costs of the project and the biogas installations. The surplus of income goes directly in cash to the farming families. In addition, a Fairtrade premium is used to set up training courses in the field of climate resilience and adaptation.

How does it work?

Organic waste (mainly cow droppings) is converted in an underground bio-digester into methane gas for cooking. About 2 cows are needed to provide an average household with sufficient gas for daily cooking. This clean way of cooking replaces the traditional way of using an open fire. 

Using biogas is comparable to cooking on normal gas in terms of convenience and air quality. The only difference is that biogas is a 100% renewable energy!

What broader benefits does it bring?

Aside from the carbon and health benefits of biogas, it has a huge impact on the daily lives of women and children. On average, women save eight hours a week by using biogas. This time can be spent on family, household or economic activities.

Bio-slurry is also a very good and free alternative to fertilizers. Various studies have shown that bio-slurry has a very positive effect on agricultural productivity. 

How will we know it's working?

The project is already working well, with ambition to do lots more. Since 2009, the project has given 12,000 families access to biogas.

By the way... 

The project is saving 218,418 thousand kilos of wood, equal to 436,837 trees.

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