Mumbai: In an endeavour to address the increasing and harmful impact of indoor air pollution in India, Envirofit has launched a range of clean burning biomass cook stoves in the country.
These stoves have been developed as a result of a partnership between Envirofit and Shell Foundation (UK) initially launched in 2007, claim to reduce toxic emissions by as much as 80 per cent, while using 50 per cent less fuel and reducing cooking cycle time by 40 per cent. These are a result of over five years of research and testing in coordination with internationally recognised academic institutions such as Colorado State University.
"Biomass (wood, crop waste and animal dung) is likely to remain the primary cooking fuel for a large majority of rural Indian households for many years to come. Against this background and the alarming number of annual of indoor air pollution-related deaths world over, we are committed to developing products that will make a significant contribution to healthier and cleaner living," said Harish Anchan, General Manager of Envirofit India Pvt Ltd.
Envirofit is a US based non-profit corporation that designs, manufactures and markets technology products to improve the quality of human life.
Available in 5 models and priced between Rs 500 and Rs 2000, the cook stoves with single and multi-pot options are currently available in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu and will be introduced in other states across the country in a phased manner. The stoves have already successfully undergone pilot testing in Chitradurga and Dharmapuri.
Certified under the most stringent environmental testing conditions in the USA, the cook stoves are currently awaiting BIS certification.
"We are in discussion with financing institutions for low cost financing options to provide additional options for families to buy the stoves," said Harish Anchan. Envirofit cookstoves are now being made available in over 700 villages in Karnataka and 300 villages in Tamil Nadu through a multi-tier distribution strategy
The current channel network in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu includes dealers, distributors, village entrepreneurs as well as not for profit organizations like MYRADA, the Tamil Nadu Foundation and the Cauvery Women's Federation.
Envirofit is targeting over 40 channel partners throughout the two states with roughly 600 outlets planned by the end of 2008.
"There are an estimated 1.6 million deaths per year due to toxic indoor air pollution (IAP). We are proud to be partnered with Envirofit International to introduce clean-burning wood stove technology in India while employing the first market-based business model," said Ajit Abraham, Shell Foundation India who supports the project as part of their Breathing Space Program. "The aim is to see 10 million stoves sold in five countries in the next five years."