Gari Elephant

  • Gari Elephant (TM)
    Client: Burro & Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
    Location: Ghana

    Objective: To increase comfort, safety, health, and productivity for small-scale gari producers through pan and stove innovation. 

    Context: Gari, a roasted flour made from the cassava root, is a staple in West Africa. Gari production is resource-intensive, unhealthy, and has yet to be successfully industrialized. Burro, a product distribution company based in Ghana, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation saw the potential for innovation in gari production technology. They engaged Catapult to research, design, and develop a commercially-viable product. 

    Process: The Catapult-Burro team first conducted preliminary research on existing cassava processing products. In country, the team observed and interviewed gari producers to gain user insights. Of the 50+ prototypes that were created, the most promising were tested with the same producers. The team then ran lab tests on the iterated designs and worked with local and international manufacturers to refine the stove to be affordable, safe, comfortable, durable, and efficient in gari roasting. 

    Innovation & Impact: The Gari Elephant (TM) addresses a market gap of quality scalable pans that offer increased cooking surface area. The team first focused on pan geometry and material innovation, which held the greatest productivity gains and the least amount of user behavior change. The flexed sheet prevents deformation, allows for thinner material, provides an optimal shape for roasting, and allows for future mechanization. The stove and chimney designs allow for significant fuel savings and twice the efficiency as current models. As a big plus, the pan/chimney/stove combo significantly reduces the smoke and heat contact for users, thus making it a safer and healthier market option.