A $199,050 project that would produce sustainable charcoal from bamboo and benefit 250 women entrepreneurs in Mozambique is the winner of the Peer Choice Award by the 100 DM2008 finalists.
Nilza Hassane Puna, General Secretariat of the Association for Bamboo Promotion and Biodiversity Conservation in Mozambique, and Oliver Frith, Associate Program Officer of the Livelihood and Development Program of the International Network for Bamboo and Rattan -- the organization sponsoring the proposal -- accepted the award last night from Juergen Voegele, Director of the World Bank's Agriculture and Rural Development Department, at a reception for finalists. (Photo at left.)
The women entrepreneurs who will benefit from the project are expected to earn an extra $604 annually to support their 1,000 household members, according to the proposal's statement.
The proposal's rationale says:
"In Mocuba [Mozambique], charcoal production is a major source of cash income for rural communities, which exclues women producers and causes deforestation....Local women, currently earning under $100 per year and playing a small role in the sector, will have access to an annual $200 million domestic market."
The bamboo-based charcoal briquettes "provide the same cooking time as twice the amount of charcoal [that comes from wood-based sources], thereby saving valuable natural resources."