Fixing the Cookstove Problem
"No one in the NGO world gets what low-income women need and want in cookstoves. Anyone who has sold more than 100,000 has been subsidized by a foundation. Low-income women have money. They could buy the stoves. They don't." - staff member of the Office of Social Innovation in the Obama Administration
What We've Learned
We think we know what low-income women want in a cookstove. It's what most people want from their primary cooking device: they want great performance, ease of use, and inexpensive operation. They want it to burn anything, burn hot and then cool down to a simmer. And they want it to use wood (or dung, or crop waste) that is freely available. And most critically, the stove must be worth the price they pay for it.
We've also learned that humanitarian aid agencies want a stove that packs flat for storage and pre-positioning. The packaged size of the Ganesha stove is just 25% that of other improved stoves, and it weighs just 6 pounds (2.6 kg). That makes it easy to get Ganesha stoves to disaster areas in times of need.
We aren't done learning. That's why we are doing pilot projects across Nepal, tracking usability and performance in 8 different communities.
What Does a Clean Cookstove Cost?
The Ganesha Stove costs $12 each, FOB New Delhi, India.
Market leading cookstoves (those selling more than 100,000 units) are available online for $28 up to $100. A few stoves with particularly low performance sell for as little as $12.50.
We compare the performance of these stoves to the Ganesha Stove on our Testing page.
Can You Really Make a Stove Be Cheap and Satisfy Village Grandmothers?
We think so, and that's what this project is about. We are making stoves that are not only inexpensive, but also meet the needs of low-income women around the world.