Rice husks to cooking fuel – a grassroots experimenter’s journey

UNDP_GH_AccLab_Experiment_ Dec._ 2021.pdf

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Rice husks to cooking fuel – a grassroots experimenter’s journey

December 16, 2021

In line with the UNDP Accelerator Lab’s goal to accelerate learning to achieve Agenda 2030, the Ghana Accelerator Lab is learning about deforestation in the Northern Region first-hand. Production of charcoal from wood fuel is an active business, with some preferring charcoal from shea trees, believing it to be cheaper and more efficient than liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). In 2021, wood fuel and charcoal have gone through periods of short supply, with prices rising to Ghc 55 to 60 (about $10) per 25kg bag of charcoal.

There are unintended consequences of increased agro-processing, including large quantities of wood fuel used in processing shea butter in the Northern region, contributing to deforestation. 

To investigate this, the UNDP Accelerator Lab in Ghana, through its COVID-19 Innovation Challenge, awarded grants to innovators including Cletus Baalongbuoro of Ponna Briquettes. For Cletus, his grant is to help him develop his concept of moving communities from unsustainable wood charcoal production to sustainable briquette production. The UNDP Ghana Accelerator Lab collaborated with Ponna Briquettes to conduct group discussions and experiments to test briquettes from an end-user perspective.

The experiments suggest that briquettes can last up to twice as long as charcoal. That is, for every 2kg of charcoal used, only 1kg briquette is required, reducing monthly expenditure on cooking fuel by at least 50%. 

With more partnerships, rice briquettes could be adopted on a large scale, as eco-friendly fuel to help save many trees from being cut for charcoal. Saving more trees means we could deliver more than 40 per cent of total emissions reductions offered globally by low-cost solutions.

Read more here.