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A wonderful wood-fired cooking stove (Model BSC308) Suitable for Fiji, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands and PNG. 11 April 2014


A wonderful wood-fired cooking stove (Model BSC308)
Suitable for Fiji, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands and PNG
Professor Wadan Narsey
11 April 2014.

[Note: I am not importing these stoves as a business. All buyers buy at their own risk]


I have been interested in wood fired cooking stoves and BBQ sets, having designed a few over the years.

This project began when I was analyzing the 2008-09 Household Income and Expenditure Survey for Fiji Bureau of Statistics, when I found that an amazing 77%  of all rural households still cook with wood, and over 85% among the poorest 40%.

But even in urban areas, some 42% of the poorest 20% cooked with firewood, mostly over open fires (which is why so many urban outlets sell dogo (tiri) firewood.

The trend may have strengthened because of the rising price of kerosene and cooking gas (totally out of Fiji’s control).

I was also aware that the Ministry of Health has always been concerned that the cooks, mostly women and girls, suffered many health risks, especially diseases to the eyes and respiratory tracts.

On the other hand, there is large amount of waste wood being produced in Fiji,  with the harvesting of our mahogany and other forests, and most side cuts left to rot in the forest.

The Reserve Bank of Fiji has also been concerned about the heavy of burden of foreign exchange required annually to pay for imported fuel, including cooking gas and kerosene.

If rural people could cook on efficient wood stoves, there could be many benefits.

* health benefits to the women and girls cooking.

* wood waste would be reduced.

*  a more efficient use of firewood.

* some eventual net savings of foreign exchange (if the stoves lasted long enough)

* for most Indo-Fijians, and others, nothing beats the taste of food cooked on open fires.

From my inquiries I found that many earlier attempts to make simple smokeless stoves had not worked out very well for a variety of reasons.

From my childhood days, I remembered my mother cooking on great big solid German cast iron stoves.

Rough costings indicated that it would be far too expensive to manufacture such cast iron stoves locally, or import them from developed countries like Australia or NZ.

After a year of looking on the Internet, I finally found one relatively cheap model and manufacturer in China, in a small town 300 kilometers south of Beijing, called Botou, Hebei.

But was the model really as good as it looked on the Internet? Looks can deceive.

By good fortune, I was able to privately visit China last year accompanying my wife to a Confucius Institute Directors’ meeting.

While there I gave several seminars on “Pacific Island economies and the role of China, and the future”, one at the Beijing University of Post and Telecommunications.  Watch a few extracts here:

The BUPT was so pleased with the lecture, that they provided a chauffer driven car and an interpreter for me and my wife to visit the factory and see the stove for myself.

Instead of the massive factory I was expecting, it turned out to be  small family run factory on the outskirts of a small town.

How could this small factory produce an internationally competitive product?  Answer: just as China does in virtually all manufactured items sold throughout the world.

Happily, the stove was as good as it looked on the Internet.  Back in Fiji, I imported 4 assembled units, one for himself, one for a friend, and 2 to interest the Ministry of Women and an NGO working with rural women.    But all 3 models were taken by my friends.

One has been working full-time at the home of Mr Keshwa Reddy, former Deputy PS of Agriculture, now working for AusAID.

His mother  Mrs Chandra Wati Reddy has already been putting the stove to good use, cooking all the typical Fiji foods, including baking bread or cakes.

I am grateful to Fiji TV Talk Business and host Ms Rachna, for the brief program they did on this stove.

Indicative Costs

The Sep. 2013 invoice cost of the stoves already assembled was around F$500.

The final landed cost was around F$1,000 and if the  VAT is refunded may be around $900.

The prices  may have gone up since.

The cost if imported in bulk, and dis-assembled may be less.

It would cost even less if the Chinese Government subsidizes the import as a “development project”.

Unknown:    How long will this stove last?

If it lasts beyond 5 years, it may be very well worth it.


Stove supplier:

Company: Botou Sanse Casting Co., Ltd

Tel: 86 317 8187722
Fax: 86 317 7613522
Mobile: 86 13082195617


[Note: I am not importing these stoves as a business. All buyers buy at their own risk]



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