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The Sun Barter

Establishing a dried fruits and vegetable network by using solar dryers and an SMS market platform for farmers in Nigeria.

Photo of seyi Alalade

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EXPLAIN YOUR IDEA

A very known and yet under-utilized process for preserving food when refrigeration is not possible, is dehydration. Dehydration (drying) using the sun has the advantage of being relatively cheap because a renewable and unlimited energy source is used and it requires little technological skill. Therefore, it can be easily applied by smallholders settled in remote areas. The initiative is to encourage farmers to process seasonally abundant fruits and vegetables into dried products by using mixed mode dryers and sell them through an interactive SMS service. After drying , the products are packaged and sealed in plastic bags (using hand sealers) ready to be stored and sold notwithstanding the transportation distance. The farmers via the SMS platform notify buyers on the type of product, location, quantity and price. Therefore, interested buyers on the platform can make orders. However, farmers can also sell the products within their local markets. Drying fruits and vegetables, together with the interactive SMS platform, solves the problem of food loss at post harvest level(due to bad transportation and poor storage), creates a value added product instead of waste, connects buyers directly to the farmers (reducing monopoly of middlemen) and positively impacts seasonal food insecurity while meeting local food preferences.

WHO BENEFITS?

Small and medium scale farmers: They can diversify their markets with the dried product, thereby increasing economic status and reducing waste on their fields. Retailers and Manufacturers: They have direct contact with farmers via the platform and know the locations in the country where to expect it. For the manufacturers, they have semi- processed product, which reduces their production processes compared to fresh products. Consumers: They have access to seasonal fruits year round.

WHERE WILL YOUR IDEA BE IMPLEMENTED?

Nigeria

ARE YOU IMPLEMENTING IN AN ELIGIBLE COUNTRY?

  • Yes

EXPERTISE IN SECTOR

  • I’ve worked in a sector related to my idea for less than one year

EXPERIENCE IN IMPLEMENTATION COUNTRY(IES)

  • Yes, for more than one year.

TELL US MORE ABOUT YOU!

I and my colleague Camilla are graduates of Wageningen University in biotechnology and developmental studies respectively. This idea was first developed by the four people in the video but is continued by the two of us presently. Our drive is to curb food wastage and are open to collaborations.

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Photo of Mburu Njunge
Team

seyi Alalade Hi Seyi, so I was able to meet a person with the solar dehydrators here in Kenya. The  units are quite expensive since very few people know about that technology. The smallest unit goes for $800 compared to yours that go for around $400. However, in the design, they have incorporated an area to burn biomass so as to make up for days when the sun is not out. Have you done the same to your dehydrators? I'd send you pictures if you like

Spam
Photo of seyi Alalade
Team

Ok that's really nice to know. Well my model didn't incorporate the burning of biomass. Please I will like to see the pictures. Do you have an idea of the capacity of these dryers? The duration and the amount of fresh products it can accommodate.
Thank you all the same

Spam
Photo of Mburu Njunge
Team

seyi Alalade  share your email please or app me on +254724617603. I will send you the pictures. I'm visiting them on Friday again so i'll ask on the capacity  since they have different sizes, the smallest can accommodate 200 kg a day. Also asses the cost of inputting a boiler or a biomass burner to quicken the process.

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