A better life for Indian women

A better life for Indian women

News item
17 Aug 2022

In the FairClimateFund biogas project, households in rural India gain access to a 100% sustainable and clean way of cooking. Cooking with biogas is better for health, climate and the 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 over an open fire results in constant headaches from blowing to get the fire going and smoke in the house. Houses and belongings become black with soot and children cannot go to school on time. Collecting firewood causes physical strain and carrying firewood is painful. Solutions are scarce because access to doctors and medicines is difficult in these vulnerable regions.

Repairing a two-burner gas stove from the biogas plant

To prevent this, cooking with biogas is a good solution. It takes about two cows to provide an average household with enough gas for cooking every day. In Vadigiri, Bagepalli, several women use a biogas stove. In this village, all women discuss and make decisions together. The discussions in the meetings cover all the problems and difficulties that women face. Here in this village they were the ones who decided to install Biogas cooking appliances.

“We no longer go to the forest every day to get firewood, that would destroy all the plants. We now grow plants in our fields.”

According to the women in Vadigiri, cooking with biogas has many advantages. Neat houses, arable farming by women and health has improved. Children can now go to school on time and with a full belly. In the past, children could not get to 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 lot of connection between fast and efficient cooking and child development.”

Biogas also saves a lot of time and women now have time for other activities that improve their lives — for example, contributing to the family income by caring for small animals such as sheep and goats. And women can participate in activities in the field, contributing to greater 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 been advocating for the interests of local farmers and farm workers for more than 25 years. BCS owns the project and is entitled to the income 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 income goes directly to the farming families in cash.

“I plan to buy some sheep with what I get to improve my wealth and income.”