Integrated biogas-vermicompost units are constructed in rural households. Biogas produced is a clean cooking fuel, compost is used as manure

Photo of Manjari Chandra
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I confirm that I am fully aware of the eligibility criteria, and based on its description, I am eligible to apply to the CSV Prize 2017.

  • Yes, I'm eligible

Preferred language

  • English

Organization name

SKG Sangha

Year founded


Initiative stage

  • Established (the solution has passed the previous stages and demonstrated success)

Annual budget in 2017 (USD)

  • $1mil - $5mil

Number of beneficiaries impacted so far

  • 500 - 1,000

Organization type

  • Nonprofit, NGO, or citizen sector

Secondary Focus Area

  • Rural development

Headquarters location: Country

  • India

Headquarters location: City

Kolar, South India

Location(s) of impact

India, Africa, Latin America and Eastern Europe


Problem: What problem is this initiative trying to address?

The dependence of rural folk on fossil fuels and firewood as primary cooking fuel. Women spend a lot of time collecting and gathering firewood and cooking on traditional woodstoves. The cost of agriculture due to the dependence on chemical fertilisers in a bid to enhance soil fertility has multiplied, even leading to farmer suicides in many areas.

Solution Summary: What is the proposed solution? What do you see as its most promising aspects for creating shared value?

The solutions are: Construction of biogas digesters for cllean & efficient fuel and energy security for rural households, Use of vermicompost thus increasing food security and resilience to climate change and reducing the cost of agriculture production, Vermicompost is sometimes sold by rural women leading to iImprovement in the livelihood of the beneficiaries and creation of additional income source for rural women, Use of vermicompost in agricultural fields thus reducing the dependence on chemical fertilizers in their agricultural fields.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Specify both the social and the environmental impact of your work

Impacts- Reduction in the greenhouse gas emission At the outset the project was estimated to reduce emission reductions by 4.88 t CO2 equivalent, i.e 2518 t CO2/ year equivalent in total. During the first year of monitoring, emission reductions by the project totaled 2374 t CO2 equivalent or that year. The targeted reductions in GHG emissions has been achieved. In total during the project lifetime (a single unit can function for more than 20 years), more than 50,000 tonnes of GHG emissions will be reduced. ) Earlier, the women did not have an income of their own and depended on their husbands. However, from the sale of the vermicomposting, their economic status and status in family and society has improved. The women are able to take decisions on the education and health of their children. As fuelwood is no longer necessary, the time earlier spent by women for the search and collection of fuelwood is being utilised for other purposes.

Financial sustainability plan: How is this initiative financially supported? How will you ensure its financial sustainability long-term?

TOTAL COST ESTIMATE PER SUB-PROJECT Units installation costs USD 7800 Identification of beneficiaries and partnering entities USD 3125 Capacity building USD 31250 Incentives USD 3125 Travel, conveyance and transport USD 8125 Technical Personnel cost USD 15625 Overheads USD 3125 Monitoring and maintenance USD 3125 Awareness creation USD 7800 Total project costs USD 83125 Project cost for 12 sub-projects USD 997,500

Unique value proposition: What makes your initiative innovative? How does your project differ from other organizations working in the same field?

We are able to successfully integrate a biogas and vermicompost unit thus enhancing rural development and self sufficiency by using a relatively simple technology. By understanding the problems faced by rural women, the initiative can empower them by providing them a clean environment to cook, and sufficient time for other activities. The units are formally assigned to the woman of the house in an effort to encourage and motivate them to be independent.

Founding story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that sparked the beginning of this initiative.

As the pictures suggest, our first few beneficiaries and their small but significant success stories have inspired us to scale up the project in all other developing and under developed nations. These women earlier spent the better part of the day gathering fuelwood and readying the cookstoves for cooking, risking their health (smoke from to traditional firewood cookstoves) for their families. With the biodigester, they have enough time to spare on self development and the education of their children. The manure - vermicompost is highly beneficial for the crops and can significantly reduce the cost of agricultural production.

Where did you hear about the Nestlé Creating Shared Value Prize?

  • Ashoka page or contact


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