A market assessment for modern cooking in Malawi

Coley, Will and Eales, Aran and Frame, Damien and Galloway, Stuart and Archer, Lloyd; (2020) A market assessment for modern cooking in Malawi. In: 2020 IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference (GHTC). IEEE, Piscataway, NJ.. ISBN 9781728173894 (https://doi.org/10.1109/GHTC46280.2020.9342930)

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This paper presents the findings from a study which used household surveys and expert interviews to investigate cooking practices and understand the barriers and opportunities to the growth of the modern cooking sector in Malawi. The findings from expert interviews highlight barriers to electric and LPG cooking around the weakness of existing infrastructure, lack of consumer willingness and ability to pay and resistance to the adoption of modern cooking devices. The greatest opportunity for electric cooking is in urban areas and on mini-grids, while LPG is also most viable in urban areas, however knowledge and infrastructure gaps need to be narrowed to facilitate growth. An analysis of household surveys in urban, peri-urban and rural areas, using data from “indicative cooking diaries”, demonstrates the diversity of cooking practices in Malawian households by showing what, how, and with what, dishes are cooked. It is demonstrated that there is a latent demand for modern cooking in Malawi. Targeted research is needed to test modern cooking devices’ ability to cook Malawian dishes in ways which are acceptable to Malawian people, in order to effectively accelerate a transition towards modern cooking in Malawi and address the negative health and environmental impacts of biomass cooking.