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Impact evaluation of an improved biomass Astra cook stove: a case study from South India

Student name: Ms Vernika Garg
Guide: Dr Eshita Gupta
Year of completion: 2016
Host Organisation: TERI University

Abstract: The adoption and sustained use of improved cook stoves over time in rural India are important for reducing fuel use and air pollution in the long-run. This paper reports results from a survey of 123 households done during 2015, out of which 66 households used a chimney based improved biomass, “ASTRA” stove while remaining 57 households used traditional cook stove in the rural area of Mysore, forming treatment and control group respectively. All the improved cook stoves were distributed and maintained by the local NGO, Grassroots Research and Advocacy Movement (GRAAM). The results demonstrate that the amount of fuel wood used, time taken to cook food and the number of people suffering from respiratory and eye irritation problems is significantly less in case of households using the improved biomass stove. With only limited availability of modern clean fuels in rural regions and large dependence of rural people on biomass cook stoves, the large scale adoption of more efficient biomass cook stoves can reduce greenhouse gas emissions as well as provide co-benefits in terms of better heath to the most vulnerable group of women and children in rural areas. This case study provides extremely useful insights for the policymakers to understand various factors leading to the success or failure of an improved biomass cook stove program in developing countries such as India.