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Giving Indians what they want in the countryside increases the demand for cookers



  Indians in the countryside give what they want, increasing the demand for cookers.
A family in rural India is testing two versions of the improved cooking stoves as part of a 201
0 field trial. Credit: Duke Global Health

Global health efforts to develop and supply improved cookers are not always effective. Experience has shown that poor households in rural areas will rarely pay or use these new stoves, which are designed to reduce fuelwood requirements and improve indoor and outdoor air quality.

According to a new study, adoption of some common business practices, such as improving the supply chain, conducting careful market analysis and offering discounts, may increase the purchase and acceptance of improved stoves in rural India by up to 50 percent, led by researchers from Duke University ,

Three billion people still rely on traditional cooking stoves that use solid fuels such as wood or coal. These stoves contribute to climate change through carbon emissions, deforestation and toxic air pollution, which contributes to poor health of users and their communities.

Improved cooking stoves use either electricity or biomass as an energy source. Moving to them can lead to three successes: improving household health, improving environmental health and reducing emissions through climate change.

However, the introduction of improved cooking stoves has been sluggish, probably due to constraints due to different markets, cultures and geography.

"Earlier studies found low demand for these stoves, but our study found that demand was high when barriers to the introduction of cook stoves were eliminated," said Subhrendu Pattanayak, Oak Professor of Environmental and Energy Policy at Duke & # 39; s Sanford School of Public Policy and lead author of the study.

"A big question for political scientists was: Can we figure out what technology, energy and environmental services people want, and use that understanding to get people to pay for them?" Our study shows that we it can, "he said.

Duke's researchers pursued a new approach by conducting the study in three phases – diagnosis, design and testing – over a period of five years.

In the first phase, researchers analyzed existing research to improve the acceptance of herring and studied sales in various potential study communities to gain insights into demand and supply side adoption barriers. They found no common strategies for promoting changes in cooking behavior, but concluded that socioeconomic reasons for adoption depend on the local context. Subsequently, they conducted focus groups in more than 100 households in 11 rural Indian communities, which allowed researchers to understand local cooking practices, perception of different flocks, and preferences for herd characteristics.

In the design phase, the researchers collaborated with local organizations to implement eight small pilot programs in three different settings. These included small-scale testing of supply chain issues such as marketing and home delivery, discounts and financing, and offers for electric and / or biomass cookers.

In the third phase, they conducted a field trial to see if the combination existed. Increased promotion of supply and demand would lead to increased introduction of improved stoves. The field test included nearly 1,000 households in 97 geographically separate villages in the Indian Himalayas.

The experiment found that more than half of the intervention households bought an improved cooker, while no purchase was made in the control villages. Demand was very price sensitive, and the largest discount, 33 percent of the retail price, resulted in the largest purchase rate, 74 percent. In areas where there was only an improved supply chain and no rebate promotion, the proportion of improved stoves increased by 28 percent.

The households preferred the electric stove to the biomass oven by a factor of two to one. Respondents liked the lack of smoke, the cooking speed, and the mobility and attractiveness of the oven.

However, this preference for electric stoves showed that there is a lack of a steady current source. In India, electrification rates in rural areas rose rapidly between 2005 and 2015, rising from 57 percent to 83 percent, "said co-author Marc Jeuland, professor of public policy and global health in Sanford.

The researchers also investigated whether The furnace ownership persisted over time and returned to households three and fifteen months after purchase Most households still owned the stoves, although at a later date 15 per cent of households reported that their stoves needed repair, the authors argue that obstacles to improved introduction of cookers can be overcome and that households are prepared to pay them considerable prices, but that maintenance and sustainability require additional attention.

The measures that have helped to improve implementation rates are similar the usual marketing and sales measures Pr Private companies, said Pattanayak. While the intervention on paper appears costly, the costs are lower than the social and environmental benefits achieved.

"Our findings suggest that market analysis, robust supply chains and discounts are key to improving the introduction of cookers," Pattanayak said.

] The study appears in the week of May 20 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.


A field study has shown that pellet stoves reduce pollutant emissions by 90 percent and approach gas stove performance


Further information:
S.K. Pattanayak el al., "Experimental Evidence for the Advancement of Electric and Improved Biomass Cooking Stoves," PNAS (2019). www.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.1808827116

Provided by
Duke University




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Giving Indians What They Want in the Country Increases Demand for Cookers (2019, May 20)
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