Eco-charcoal demonstration tour
Sunday, 10 October, 2010 (All day)
We would host a promotional day for the eco-charcoal on 10/10/10
This project aims to improve the distribution channel of the recent eco charcoal production in Cote d’Ivoire by involving underpriviledged women, removing financing barriers and increasing public awareness.
Cote d’Ivoire is a country in West Africa which forest cover has been intensely depleted for decades to serve as charcoal (fuel for households) or exported as wood products.
The capital city, Abidjan stands at over 400,000 tons of charcoal demand alone. Recently, some greener initiatives about producing charcoal have emerged. One such initiative is run by the National Authority for Forest Development which has sustainably growned a special wood species (acacia cia mea) and provided kilns to a women association in the inner country with the intent to especially produce such charcoal. Another one is the use of coconut shells to produce charcoal by a group of coconut producers. Both processes still emit carbon dioxide but they are far more damaging than chopping down trees unsustainably to just produce charcoal.
Unfortunately, the eco charcoal has proved difficult to be sold in urban areas inspite of its real benefits (burns longer, burns hotter, does not spark or flame…). Part reason is the unusual shape of the charcoal that makes it falsely suspicious and another reason is that traditional retail sellers (men) have to pay upfront the costs of being procured the charcoal and are generally relunctant to do so in addition of their longstanding relationships with traditional charcoal producers.
As production is increasing, we would like to perfect the distribution channel of eco-charcoal by getting women self-help groups as new distributors, providing them with the charcoal under a micro consignment model without having to pay upfront costs, matching their microfinance savings for growing/exiting the business after 18-24 months and on the promotion side, running a demonstration tour to promote the benefits of this new charcoal (branded car distributing leaflets and samples of eco-charcoal to families).
Event Host: The Flourishing Trust http://theflourishingtrust.web.officelive.com/