- Post-harvest losses represent huge wasted potential in African agriculture, with valuable food crops never reaching the market. Mufindi Holdings Co Ltd aims to be a vertically integrated business with an established horticulture production chain from seed to feed.We purchase fruits from small farmers which are then processed,instantly dehydrated on site using solar driers and later we pack for value addition or we'll store using advanced technology such as cold stores which farmers lack, hence decrease post-harvest losses and provide assurance of availability of our product throughout the year.Driers and cold storage facilities are crucial to minimize post-harvest losses however, losses occur at every step in the post-harvest cycle, therefore cold storage cannot be considered as an independent solution to prevent post harvest spoilage but as one component that needs to be integrated in a cold chain network from the point of harvest to the point of purchase by the end consumer.The different stages in the post-harvest cycle can be summarized as harvest, precooling ,transportation & packaging,cold storage and display at the market.During these different stages,we'll address not only temperature control, but also proper and minimal handling of produce including handling, cleaning, sorting and adequate packing.Since adequate,proper harvesting and handling of fresh produce are crucial preconditions for long storage and shelf lives of fruit and vegetables we aim to be choosing the correct harvest time referring to both the ripeness and maturity of the produce as well as the right time of the day, distribute harvesting mats or containers/baskets instead and train smallholder producers to not place produce on the ground directly .In handling before being put into storage, produce should be sorted and graded with regards to quality,produce needs to be cleaned, before being put into storage containers and entering the storage rooms. Dirt bears the potential of introducing pests into the storage facility and ensuring time span between harvest and the placement into storage needs to be kept as short as possible. Transport of fresh produce be done by cold room mounted tri-cycles for distribution and refrigerated trucks for long distance transport
Through on-site locally made solar fruit and vegetable driers we dehydrate and pack fruits in areas with some produce, especially of tropical origin, that are sensitive to chilling. A solar drier is a device which uses the heat of the sun to reduce the moisture content of a product such as fresh fruit and vegetables. With an optimized ventilation, solar energy is all that is needed. Horticultural produce will be exposed to solar radiation through a clear covering as our solar energy drier is a simple, low-cost technology that uses the heat of the sun to dehydrate fresh fruits and vegetables and extend their shelf lives. The solar drier can reduce the moisture content of a product from 60% to less than 20%. It provides farmers with an affordable solution in order to help them address post-harvest losses, increase food security and income potential. It also enables them to promote the consumption of healthy dried snacks unlike a norm where one has to only consume fresh fruit whether healthy/nutritious or not.
We later plan our pay-as-you store modular solar-powered cold rooms for 24/7 off-grid storage and preservation of perishable foods.Using ColdCubes we'll control the rate of deterioration by remotely monitoring temperature, the level of relative humidity, air velocity, atmospheric composition,molding, pests and other spoilage reasons which lead to quality deterioration, such as loss of water, thrive under warm and humid conditions. It adequately addresses the problem of post- harvest losses in fruits, vegetables and other perishable foods. ColdCubes will be installed in markets and farms. Farmers will place their produce in clean plastic crates, these plastic crates are stacked inside the cold room. This extends the freshness of fruits, vegetables and other perishable food from 2 days to about 21 days. .