During the dry season, approximately 8,000 Cambodian farmers and their families rely on additional income-generating activities such as small-scale food processing (palm sugar, noodle, rice wine production), using inefficient productive stoves combined with non-renewable biomass sourcing. Beyond the environmental impact of these unsustainable practices, more and more farmers have to drop these off-season income-generating activities because of the scarcity of firewood and its rising price.
To face these social and environmental challenges, GERES developed the Improved Multi-Energy Productive Stove (IMEPS) which is 30% more efficient (and therefore allows a significant reduction of wood consumption) and can be used with alternative biomass fuels (e.g. rice husk, palm leaves,…) to further reduce or even completely replace the use of non-renewable wood. In order to support the market-based dissemination of the IMEPS, GERES conducted village-level needs assessment of potential entrepreneurs to become IMEPS builders in Kampong Chhnang province to identify the barriers they may face in incorporating the IMEPS technology into their existing business model. One micro-entrepreneur per village was selected and trained on technical and business skills. GERES and its local partner Farmer and Nature Net (FNN) are also stimulating the market demand for this new technology by organizing marketing activities and promotional events in the targeted villages to encourage local food processors to adopt this new technology. Access to finance schemes will further be designed with micro-finance institutions (MFIs) and through the existing saving groups of FNN to enable such farmers to invest in the IMEPS technology without subsidy.
The final goal of the project is to create the conditions for large-scale adoption of the IMEPS in rural areas. FNN’s wide network of farmers is a powerful vector of outreach and should allow to widely relay the promotional video recently developed in the frame of this project.
Watch the promotional video of IMEPS here (in khmer).