We use clean burning cookstoves and cookstove fuel as a tool to target a series of identified problem-areas in emerging countries.
We operate with a three part organizational model that binds together a) development organizations, NGOs b) rural communities, farmers, bee-keepers and c) Miombo AS
The model is based on a three way synergistic partnership between the development sector, the private sector and rural communities. It draws on the skills at each party and helps leverage complementary roles and resources.
Our current cookstove is the Peko Pe.
This is a TLUD, a clean burning cookstove fit for the low income household in emerging countries. The stove draws on the design principles of Paal Wendelbo, a champion of uncomplicated design making it possible for smallholders to find metal-material for the stove in the locally and to assemble the stove using tinsmiths handtools.
The stove’s value proposition to households versus the charcoal based Mbaula are:
- Cost savings: A stove with a higher thermal efficiency: more than 36% versus 17.5% in the Mbaula. The cost savings to the household is estimated at 50% over the 10 year life of the stainless-steel based Peko Pe
- Reduced emissions: A stove with reduced emissions of toxic fumes in the kitchen environment.
- Long life-expectancy: Two versions of the Peko Pe is offered; a mild steel type having a similar life-expectancy as a charcoal based stove, i.e. 2 to 3 years; a stainless steel type with an expected life-time of 10 years.
- Flexibility in choice of fuel: The stove is fuel flexible and accepts many different cookstove fuels, as long as the moisture is below 15% to 20%. Examples are corn cobs, twigs, nut shells, pellets, chips.
We manufacture the Peko Pe stove locally using various metal sources coupled with assembly using imported laser cut stove parts. We have effectively used disabled and prisoners on the production lines and have plans to integrate women in special programs for production.
Deforestation is considered one of the priority environmental challenges in many developing countries. Wood harvesting for charcoal production seems to be one main cause of forest loss. The costs/benefit ratio of charcoal is very attractive for the household causing charcoal to be the preferred fuel. The dominance of charcoal as a fuel and charcoal stoves makes commercial companies shy away from cookstoves as profit levels are low and market risk is high. The cookstove arena is in need of new platforms for collaboration, cost effective logistic models and improved production methods to compete effectively with charcoal.
We produce pellets and chips and combine this with the forestry practice of Assisted Natural Regeneration (ANR). The aim is to close the loop between use of biomass in the cookstove and reforestation.
Finally, we do bee-keeping. Bee-keeping is an extension of the work we do on cookstoves and cookstove fuel. Production of honey is one part in the circular concept the company employs on biomass. Bee-keeping is one of several local drivers that indirectly addresses deforestation. In many developing countries deforestation-dependent livelihoods have charcoal production as the sole source of income and bee-keeping gives the forest dweller or farmer a meaningful alternative income.
Proponents of improved cookstoves, often cite cookstoves as a method to alleviate a) the pressure the natural resource base, b) the use of energy in a cost effective and efficient way, and c) the provision of a mean for the poor to decrease their high expenditures on energy.
Assisted Natural Regeneration is recognized as a cost-effective forest reforestation method that can restore biodiversity and ecosystem services in areas of intermediate levels of degradation, while also providing income for rural livelihoods.
An end-result is improved communities and better-quality living for community members through job creation and sustainable income generation from forestry activities including bee-keeping, cookstove fuel production and cookstove manufacturing.