NAIROBI, March 5 (Xinhua) -- A Kenyan firm on Monday said it planned to roll out a clean cook stove that aims to reduce country's dependence on firewood and kerosene for household cooking.
James Kariuki, Managing Director of International Research and Development Africa, told Xinhua in Nairobi that it has designed a low cost cook stove that uses biofuel for cooking.
"We intend to introduce the stove to millions of households who are currently dependent on dirty sources of energy such as firewood and kerosene," Kariuki said on the sidelines of the Nairobi Innovation Week.
The cookstove has been patented by the Kenya Industrial Property Institute. He noted that the cookstove is smoke free as well as carbon neutral.
"In addition it has been designed with special metals so that it remains cold even after cooking," he observed.
Government data indicates that over 65 percent of the population depends on firewood and charcoal while another 15 percent uses kerosene.
Kariuki said people would prefer to use clean sources of energy such as Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) or electricity for cooking but are unable due to their high costs.
"We want to equalize access to clean cooking and at the same time conserve Kenya's forests," he added.
International Research and Development Africa has so far built approximately 300 biofuel stoves on a trial basis. "Since we have validated the efficacy of the product, we will begin mass production of the product," he said.
The biofuel cookstove will retail for about 30 U.S. dollars and use anhydrous alcohol from sugar beet.
Kariuki has come up with a hybrid sugar beet variety that can grow in Kenya. He plans to contract farmers to cultivate sugar beet which will be used to produce sugar, while the byproduct will be biofuel for the cookstove.