| Boiling Point No. 36 - November 1995 |
|R & D News|
Socio-economic constraints and incentives relating to the adoption of improved cooking technology for rural households in Malawi.
by Lewis Mhango & Mike Thomson
The Malawi Ministry of Energy and Mining and the UK-based Natural Resources Institute are currently planning a joint research project based on the above theme.
As in many parts of the world, and despite many potential benefits to householders (such as fuelwood and time saving and positive nutrition and health effects), rural domestic energy programmes in Malawi have met with very limited success. This study will analyse rural attitudes towards improved stoves and cooking techniques so that future technology transfer efforts are better directed and have more chance of success.
Early in 1996, a selection of villages will be chosen with different energy problems, cooking techniques, diets, access to markets, agro-climatic conditions, cultures, traditions etc. Within each chosen village, the research team will analyse how different people perceive energy problems, what they do to try to overcome these problems, and what constraints they face.
The success of improved stove, biogas, and solar technologies in resource-poor rural areas hinges on a proper understanding of the socio-economic forces operating within villages and within households.
Anyone requiring more details or wanting to comment on the study should contact Lewis Mhango at the Ministry of Energy and Mining, Private Bag 309, Liongwe 3, Malawi. Fax: + 265 784 236, or Mike Thomson, Natural Resources Institute, Central Avenue, Chatham Maritime, ME4 4TB, UK Fax: +44 1634 883706.