Stoves fired with shea shells to reduce the environmental impact of shea production in Burkina Faso

 The project, led by CIRAD, plans to produce stoves using shea nut shells as an alternative to wood. This new technology could be used by cooperatives and women–led organizations, which are often in charge of collecting, boiling and shelling shea nuts in Burkina Faso. FID’s funding will enable existing stoves to be fueled with shea shells and evaluate their efficiency with local populations.


Shea nuts are one of the main agricultural products of southwestern Burkina Faso. Producers mainly use wood-burning stoves to boil the shea nuts and make butter out of them. These stoves require a lot of wood, and therefore increase deforestation while generating toxic fumes that can be harmful to the health of the women using them on a daily-basis.


The French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development (CIRAD) carries out this project, which aims to adapt wood-burning stoves to the use of a different kind of fuel, shea nut shells, which are normally discarded after being boiled. By using shea nut shells as fuel, this project aims to promote a new cooking method respectful of the environment and of the health of women producers.

FID’s funding will be used to further improve the existing stoves and test their use by a group of volunteer women in order to gather their feedback and meet their needs.

Expected results

The FID-funded study will enable the introduction and testing of the innovation in 9 villages in Burkina Faso and determine whether it helps:

  • Improve the health of producers by reducing their exposure to fumes
  • Increase the income of producers through the use of an available and cost-free alternative fuel
  • Shorten the time spent on harvesting wood
  • Reduce deforestation
  • Add value to shea nut shells, which are usually regarded as residual waste
Photo credits: AFD / Paul Kabre

Presentation of the team

The French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development (CIRAD) is a research and cooperation organization working for the sustainable development of tropical and Mediterranean regions.

The social enterprise Nafa Naana runs programs to provide Burkinabè families with clean, modern and economical cooking and lighting solutions.

The 2iE Institute is a research and higher education center located in Burkina Faso. Its Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Laboratory aims to develop innovative solutions to address energy supply issues in developing countries.

Climate Solutions Consulting specializes in evaluating the impact of ecological cooking solutions.

OLVEA Burkina Faso, a subsidiary of the French group OLVEA, is a company located in Bobo Dioulasso specialized in the production of shea butter and vegetable oils.