BioLite has launched three distinct programs in India, Ghana and Uganda to demonstrate both the health benefits and commercial viability of our HomeStove business. During this year-long process, we will work with local, rural energy distributors to bring HomeStoves to 10,000 families. Through thoughtfully constructed experiments, detailed measurement, and open dialogue, we hope to refine a scaling plan that will allow us to reach more than 1 million homes within the next 5 years.
Here's a closer look at our three programs:
In India, BioLite is working with a solar energy distributor in the eastern states of Orissa and Bihar. There we will work to refine our marketing and communication support, hone in on appropriate retail prices, and become a fluid wholesale and maintenance partner to our last mile distributor. These learnings will provide the fundamental building blocks to support the introduction of the HomeStove into a local, rural market.
BioLite team member Arley is working on location in India, building relationships and working closely with MIT's Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) on cookstove adoption research. India is the largest market in the world for clean cookstoves. The Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves estimates that 400 million people in India (90% of which being women) are exposed to the negative impacts of indoor cooking smoke. Arley says, "I want to do this because I believe in BioLite's mission. Reducing deforestation and climate change while providing electricity and a healthier life is a worthy cause. But equally important to me is the way BioLite is achieving these aims." As opposed to giving away stoves, BioLite utilizes a market-based approach, which adds value to the product, creates jobs, and stimulates local economic growth.
In Uganda, we will be focusing on the carbon-reducing performance of the HomeStove and how this may ultimately effect market pricing. We are working with a cookstove distributor in Uganda to demonstrate the carbon-offset value of the HomeStove. If successful, these carbon-offsets can be sold into European climate markets to help subsidize the purchase price of cookstoves to the poorest segments of the Ugandan market.
Biolite Team Member Sophie is on the ground working closely with our partners at Impact Carbon, in Kampala, Uganda. Sophie will be doing everything from speaking and working with HomeStove users, to conducting various field studies, to learning key insights into Ugandan culture that may inform HomeStove usage and long-term adoption.
Stay tuned for field updates from Arley and Sophie as they continue their work in their local markets. Subscribe to the BioLite Newsletter, for the most up-to-date reports.
Lastly, in Ghana, we are working with the Ghanean government's public pre-natal healthcare system to provide pregnant woman with HomeStoves that will reduce toxic indoor smoke, and hopefully lead to the reduction of both pre-natal and infant respiratory disease. According to previous studies on the burden of disease from indoor air pollution, the health effects of indoor smoke equal at least two packs of cigarettes a day. This newest trial, which has been designed by Columbia University and funded by the National Institute of Health (NIH), will be the largest Randomized Controlled Health Trial (RCT) ever conducted to demonstrate the effects of reduced indoor smoke on pregnant women and new-born babies.
Want to learn more about the HomeStove and our efforts abroad? View our HomeStove Stories.