Traditional cookstoves can be harmful to health due to smoke and are inefficient in their use of wood or charcoal.
Building on a baseline study carried out in 2017 in partnership with the Ivorian Government’s Agricultural Research Institute and the Ivorian Alliance for Clean Cooking, in January 2018 Nestlé and its supplier Cocoanect and its partners recruited 500 households in the Duékoué area of western Côte d'Ivoire to participate in a project aimed at identifying practical, improved cookstoves suited to local household needs.
Twelve different cookstoves were tested, and awareness events were organized so that local cocoa farmers could learn about the improved stoves and see live demonstrations of the different models. Afterwards, cooperative members were provided with a cookstove which they tested for four weeks at home.
This study provided valuable information on how the different cookstoves performed in-use. Quick heating, reduced use of fuel and reduced smoke emerged as the biggest benefits. Based on the farmers’ feedback, two improved cookstove models – one charcoal and one wood – were selected for production by a local manufacturer. Tests carried out indicated that the energy efficiency of the charcoal model was 60% higher compared to traditional stoves, while the wood-burning model resulted in a 43% efficiency gain over its traditional counterparts.
In August 2018 local sales activities began across the Duékoué region. All 218 farmers who participated in the trial activities reported interest in buying an improved cookstove. Sales of cookstoves took place on a credit basis, with farmer households paying for their cookstove in multiple instalments. From the farmers’ perspective, this sales strategy turned out to be appealing, but in the interest of maximising efficiency and impact in the coming year other options will be pursued, such as testing farmers ability to pay for a cookstove in a single instalment in return for a significant discount.
Interview with Justine Kossa
Market stand owner in Duékoué
Tell us about yourself
“I am 28 years old and a mother of two kids. I have my own stall on a market in Duékoué City, where I prepare grilled fish and attiéké (a local cassava dish) on two improved cookstoves.”
How did you first learn about the cookstoves?
“I was at a demonstration of FIRCA last year, where I first heard about these new stoves. I was very lucky to receive both a wood stove and a charcoal stove, so I could test both for my business.”
What has been your experience?
I think they are easy to use and they need less firewood and charcoal compared to the stoves I had before, which saves money. I have been trying to convince my friends to buy one as well. In fact, I am planning to buy another one next year, either a charcoal one or a cookstove which can be fuelled by both firewood and charcoal.”