a better life for indian women

News – 17 August 2022

In the FairClimateFund biogas project, households in rural India get access to a 100% sustainable and clean way of cooking. Cooking on biogas is better for health, climate and environment and saves households time and money. Read on for an update from the field - based on information from recent independent research from Fairtrade International.

In India, cooking on an open fire results in constant headaches from blowing to get the fire on and from smoke inside the house. Houses and belongings become black with soot, and children can't go to school on time. Collecting firewood causes physical strain and carrying headloads of firewood is painful. Solutions are scarce, because access to doctors and medicines is difficult in these fragile regions.

Repairing a two-burner gas stove from the biogas installation

To avoid these health problems and reduce use of wood and greenhouse gas emissions, cooking on biogas is a great solution. About 2 cows are needed to provide an average household with sufficient gas for cooking on a daily basis. In Vadigiri, Bagepalli several women use a biogas stove. In this town, women meet, discuss and take all decisions together. The discussions in these meetings focus on all the problems and difficulties faced by women. In this village, women are the ones who decide to install biogas plants.

We don't go to the forest anymore to collect firewood every day, which destroys all the trees. We now allow trees to grow in our fields.

According to the women in Vadigiri, cooking on biogas has many benefits. Neat homes, active cultivation of fields by women, and health has improved. Children can now go to school on time and with a filled belly. Before, children could not get in school on time, because of the long cooking time. There are 50 households in Vadigiri and 30 of them use biogas.

Children go to school in Vadigiri

There is a real connection between efficient cooking and children's development.

Biogas also saves a lot of time, and women now have time for other activities that improve their lives —for example, they contribute to the household income by taking care of small animals like sheep and goats. And women can join activities in the field, which contributes to more gender equality.

The FairClimateFund biogas project is certified according to the Gold Standard and Fairtrade Climate Standard. The farming families in this project are members of the Bagepalli Coolie Sangha (BCS), a Fairtrade certified democratic community organization that has stood up for the interests of local farmers and agricultural workers for over 25 years. BCS owns the project and is entitled to the revenues resulting from the sale of carbon credits by FairClimateFund. This income is sufficient to cover all costs of the project and the biogas installations. The surplus of income goes directly in cash to the farming families.

I plan to buy some sheep with the extra income we make due to the benefits of cooking on biogas.

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