Dazin - Renewable Cooking Fuel for All

Dazin - Renewable Cooking Fuel for All

Gisenyi, RwandaDaga, Bhutan
Organization type: 
for profit
Project Stage:
$50,000 - $100,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Dazin manufactures and distributes cooking fuel - for free to rural households and at below market prices to urban and commercial customers in Bhutan. Dazin addresses the lack of clean, reliable and renewable cooking fuel in developing countries while reducing green-house gases and generating jobs.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

3 billion people in developing countries still use traditional fuels for cooking such as firewood, charcoal and animal dung. Globally 4 million people die each year due to harmful smoke released from open fires, impacting mostly women and children. Open fires causes deforestation, soil erosion also emits 25% of the world’s black carbon, a major cause of climate change. Dazin focus area, Bhutan has highest firewood consumption per capita globally.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

Most obvious solution is to sell clean stoves as practiced by many other organisations. But the problem is How to sell efficient stoves to people earning less than $2 a day? Economic cost drives behavior of low-income households and trumps all other factors in cook-stove purchase decision. Dazin collects free sustainably available biomass waste (forestry and agricultural waste) by people participation using extensive rural Collection Centres. Biomass waste is densified into fuel cookies in local decentralized factories. Free efficient stoves (designed by Philips) and fuel is provided in return to those giving free biomass. The revenue is generated by selling surplus fuel cookies to others mostly in cities for less than competitor’s price.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

A woman living in rural area providing 5 kg biomass waste (whatever she usually collects apart from wood more than 6 cm diameter) to our collection center generates 4.5 kg of fuel cookies. 1 kg of fuel cookies is given her for free in return, which used in Dazin’s smokeless and efficient stove gives more energy compared to presently used 5 kg biomass for cooking. The remaining 3.5 kg of fuel cookies made from her contribution are sold in nearby cities at 20% lower price than petroleum gas so that her urban counterpart can get cost-effective and reliable cooking fuel. Dazin only uses 2/3 of the presently collected biomass by rural households and also monitor time saved by them. Dazin ensures that no trees are cut down due to our operations.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

A public-private company (NRDCL) in Bhutan produces and sells briquettes (from 2 factories) made from saw-millers waste sawdust. NRDCL has to transport the sawdust from 14 different saw-millers to a centralized location resulting in high production price compared to Dazin decentralized concept. NRDCL buys the raw material. NRDCL is not earning profit due to centralized production, dependency on high transportation and inefficient use of briquettes in local stoves. Therefore NRDCL is unable to expand its operations. Bhutan also has 100% dependency of subsidized Petroleum Gas imports from India.
About You
About You
First Name


Last Name


About Your Project
Organization Name


Organization Country

, DAG, Daga

Country where this project is creating social impact

, GS, Gisenyi

How long has your organization been operating?

1‐5 years

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Your Solution
Founding Story: Share a story about the “Aha!” moment that led you to get started and/or to see the potential for this to succeed.

I was working as an electronics engineer in a multi-national company in India but I was more attracted to rural life and problems faced by the masses of rural society due to my travels. I noticed open firing smoke from cooking as one of the biggest problems in 2010 and started working in cook-stoves projects after leaving my job. Most of my time was dedicated to read literature and try to understand the root cause of the problem. I got an opportunity to work on same issues in Africa. Over there, I realized that reliable fuel supply is as important as efficient stove. I wrote down various fuel production models using business as a tool. This idea was piloted in Rwanda along with a social entrepreneur and we have only got smiles from people.

Select Sector(s): To which of Unilever's categories of sustainability does your solution apply?

Greenhouse Gases, Sustainable Agriculture, Smallholder Farmers, Supply Chain Micro-entrepreneurs.

Measurable Impact
Audience: Who have you identified as your customers/recipients and why? How will you get your solution to them or engage them in your initiative?

Our customers are the women collecting biomass in rural areas and Petroleum Gas users in cities. Dazin also aim to provide fuel cookies for commercial users to boarding schools, colleges, restaurants, hotels etc. The rural households provide biomass & get fuel cookies at our Biomass Collection Centers (BCC) operated in collaboration with rural community. BCC is located near to the rural households. In urban areas, Dazin partners with already existing retail stores for selling the fuel cookies.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date and expected impact in the future?

We have proven our business model and impacted more than 1000 people in Rwanda with Inyenyeri, our partner using fuel pellets. Rural women queued up to provide biomass waste and were eager to get free fuel pellets & efficient stove. 98% of the rural households are providing biomass by last 2 years (only 2% drop-out). The fuel saved from rural areas is sold in urban areas at 10% cheaper price than charcoal and the demand for our fuel is increasing. We are going to provide 650 more stoves (impacting 3500 more people) in November 2013. We also established second fuel production factory in Rwanda. In Bhutan, we are about to launch our first ever fuel cookies production plant in early 2014 with the aim to expand in whole South Asia region. Bhutan is considered as highest fuelwood per capita consuming country in the world and we aim to reduce wood consumption by half due to our operations.

Growth, Finance & Leadership
Scaling the Solution: How do you intend to scale your activities over the next two years (e.g., reach new markets, diversify solutions, etc.)? What will make this possible?

We intend to expand in Bhutan and Rwanda in next 2 years. As Dazin manufactures and distributes fuel cookies at decentralized level, it requires effective management and easily scalable model by using key partners wherever possible. Initially, we aim to work in partnership with community forestry management group in Bhutan before going to communities without forestry groups, so that management group can do all the communications to the households. Dazin is in need of seed investment to replicate the village level production business model for scaling to other villages. This investment is mainly due to the establishment cost of the fuel production factories. This prize money will help to kick-start our operations in Bhutan at greater pace.

Financial Sustainability: What is your business model to ensure financial sustainability?

Dazin is in fuel generation business. Dazin generates most of its revenue by selling fuel cookies, not by stoves. All the installed factories reach breakeven in maximum 2.5 years. The payback time for each free stove given in rural areas is just 5 months due to fuel sales. After 3 years, Dazin will launch social franchising model in which communities can own the factory with a royalty fee, ensuring earnings for us to expand in new markets.

Experience: Please provide examples of any previous entrepreneurial initiatives you have pioneered.

Not Applicable