Amul Dairy, India’s largest dairy cooperative, has partnered with Envirofit to distribute energy efficient cookstoves in rural Gujarat. Amul’s dairy farmers will receive a subsidy of approximately $4 to purchase the stoves, which are designed to reduce smoke, biomass fuel,and cooking time. The stoves will initially be sold in 100-200 villages and could potentially generate revenue through carbon creditsdue to reduction in use of wood.

AHMEDABAD: The Kaira District Co-operative Milk Producers’ Union, better known for its Amul Dairy, will promote energy efficient stoves in rural Gujarat. It tied up with Envirofit India, part of US based tax-exempt corporation to replace traditional chulha with specially designed stoves.

Kaira Union will offer subsidy to its farmer members producing milk for Amul Dairy. Envirofit will market stove that has been designed to reduce smoke, biomass fuel and cooking time. It is claiming to have designed stove that will improve wood combustion. Envirofit is also exploring possibilities of garnering revenues by participating in carbon credit trade by demonstrating savings of woods.

“Women in poor farmer families are dependent on woods to cook meals in unhealthy environment. We have observed that conventional system of burning woods in chulha is affecting women’s eyes and lungs adversely. We want them to adopt healthier practices and also save precious woods,” said Kaira Union MD Rahul Kumar.

He added that farmers affiliated with Amul will get subsidy worth Rs 200 on purchase of stove priced at Rs 1,900. Kaira Union affiliate charitable trust Tribhovandas Foundation’s health workers will demonstrate benefits of stove designed by Envirofit.

Commenting on tie up with Kaira Union, Envirofit India MD Harish Anchan said, “We will be able to spread our network in parts of Gujarat to promote stoves designed for better combustion, which will improve health of women. Rural Indian women and their small children suffer from headache as they inhale smoke and carbon monoxide in kitchen. Even today, half of Indian population cook without LPG and depends on woods and kerosene.”

Last week, he visited Anand and Kaira districts in Central Gujarat to establish dialogues with farmers and health workers who will run the campaign in the villages. Envirofit is also designing stoves to suit the different utensils used in parts of the India. It is claiming to have sold three lakh stoves in South India. Anchan stated that health workers would sensitise women about ill effects of traditional chulha.

To begin with, stoves will be sold in 100-200 villages. “Our idea is to create demand for stoves and healthy cooking practices. It will enable the stove makers to produce it locally and reduce costs,” said Kumar.