GreenTech Company Limited in collaboration with the School Agriculture and Food Management Unit (SAFMU) literally achieved a break-through in their research for alternative cooking fuel for school feeding, making it possible to save trees, emissions, finances and efforts.
The MoU partners conducted a samplary testing for the use of groundnut shell fuel briquettes in standard school kitchens. The testing was implemented in Old Jewshang Lower Basic School in the WFP approved kitchen during June/ July. The school benefits from the school feeding program and uses firewood to cook about 1000 dishes a day on two stoves. Thus the multidisciplinary testing team could compare the advantages and disadvantages of the pressed groundnutshells towards firewood for school feeding.
The testing revealed that the briquettes need improved ventilation, thus four bricks were taken out at the bottom of the stoves and a punched metal plate was inserted. After these small cost effective amendments, which still remained the option for firewood use, the briquettes appear to be a true alternative, as for the users they are
- less bulky to store
- comfortable to handle and break
- showing less smoke during cooking
- more cost efficient, respectively the children do not have to spend time to collect firewood
Besides the general environmental advantages, especially in the battle against climate change, the locally recycled groundnutshell also show socio-economic advantages, improving livelihoods and reducing poverty: The pressing of groundnutshell briquettes basically converts bio waste into an efficient fuel, minimising the need for waste management of dumped groundnut shells, creating employment opportunities, saving valuable forest resources and household finances.
GreenTech thanks all those involved in the testing, especially the staff of SFMU and Old Jeshwang LBS, as well as the assisting volunteers, welders and masonry and of course WFP for helping the students to grow strong.
The cooperation partners are undertaking a demonstration series from December 2012 to January 2013 in 20 Schools.