2 August 2010

Zambia: Saw Dust Stove, a New Innovation for Farmers

SMALL-scale farmers in Ndola still not connected to hydro electric power may now have the advantage of sampling a new technology that produces heat energy for cooking.

This follows the invention of a saw dust stove which has proved not only cost effective but also user friendly.

The stove has become very popular among local farmers, said Trust Community Centre Missionary Brunner Dietman in an interview recently.

Mr Dietman said some farmers had been trained through demonstrations on how to use the saw dust stove and so far those that have appreciated it said the stove has worked out well for them.

One of the advantages of the saw dust stove is that once popularised, it can help reduce dependency on charcoal as a source of energy.

Charcoal burning poses a danger to the environment in that it is a major contributor to deforestation which can lead to desertification as those involved often go for indigenous trees thereby depleting them.

One of the farmers who experienced the benefits of the saw dust stove is Mr Moses Chiluba of Mabel and Moses Farm in Ndeke Township.

"My wife cooked beans and heated water for bathing using the new stove so its efficiency cannot be doubted ," Mr Chiluba said.

The saw dust which is usually the end product of wood mostly generated in saw mills has proved to be essential to some farms which are still not electrified and especially for those users who are familiar with the technology.

So instead of discarding the saw dust as a waste product, it can be used as a cheaper source of energy.

In Europe saw dust is compacted into briquettes and used as a source of heat energy in homes.

Back home, the new technology can comprise of a used five litre tin of paint which should have a four centimetre diameter hole drilled at the bottom.

Then a pipe or used exhaust pipe should be inserted in the middle to create a hole which should also act a chimney while the tin is filled with saw dust and compacted neatly for better results as well as to avoid smoking.

Then the stove should be placed on a stand to allow for oxygen flow while the fire is lit at the bottom using a paraffin douched cloth until the flame glows all the way up to the top.

After that a pot of water or whatever is to be cooked can be placed on top of the dust stove.

This should be done out-doors rather than indoors as a safety measure.

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