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ECO food dehydrators

To help farmers for the first time turning crops surplus that usually goes to waste into powdered fruit drinks and powdered tomato sauce

Photo of Ahmed Megahed
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Lead Applicant Organization Name

ECO food dehydrators

Lead Applicant Organization Type

  • Small company (under 50 employees)

If part of a multi-stakeholder entity (i.e. team), provide the names of other organizations and types of stakeholders collaborating with you.

ECO received technical and financial support from EU/UNIDO Switch Med regional incubation program, Tony Elumelue African entrepreneurship program , and maser el Kheir innovating for a cause incubation program ECO created by a team of professionals Ahmed :-Team leader , CEO ,and technician member, BSc of agriculture, 2 patents owner, shareholder,15 years experience in food dehydration, he attended up to 15 program in entrepreneurship and granted a diploma from EU ,responsible about designing, patenting, manufacturing, and examining ECO products, also customer service, sales and marketing -Tarek:- BSc of arts, 8years experience in sales and marketing , CEO assistance, product finishing -Abeer:- founder 8 years experience in examining dehydrated fruits and vegetables ,she is to examine shelf life, taste, natural color ,best re-dehydration time and method , quality,--of dehydrated food , -shaimaa :- BSC of commerce , 4 years experience in sales and marketing

Website of Legally Registered Entity

https://www.facebook.com/MalekTagfef/

How long have you / your team been working on this Vision?

  • 10+ years

Lead Applicant: In what city or town are you located?

Cairo

Lead Applicant: In what country are you located?

Egypt

Your Selected Place: what’s the name of the Place you’re developing a Vision for?

As only Arab dehydrators provider , ECO committed to cover rural Egypt, where 95% of rural farmers are small holders,

What country is your selected Place located in?

Egypt

Describe your relationship to the place you’ve selected.

despite the huge need and wide market gab of food dehydrators in Egypt its industry is totally absent,Abeer the ECO founder belongs to EL Mahala , one of rural governorates ,she lived there for up to 20 years, El Mahala surrounded with many of rural centers , where farmers suffer of food insecurity, unemployment, and post harvest loss


Describe the People and Place: Provide information that would be helpful for an outsider who has never been there and may have no context about this Place to better understand the area.

small holder farmers leave their crops in fields in harvest season when cost of transport exceed market value , that leads to greenhouse gases emission to environment and forms great loss for both of their income and many of natural resources as water , land , fertilizers and energy that go to produce food that no one consumes, Egypt the 5th world tomato producer imports both of fresh and processed tomato while up to 4 million ton of its produce (about 8 million ton ) go to waste due unavailability of appropriate tools for crops processing and storage, rural women suffers of social norms that prevent them from working outside their homes and villages, Egypt suffers of food insecurity ,high rate of unemployment especially in rural areas, and continues increase of fuel prices that affects dramatically on crops transportation cost , despite food dehydrators can form solution its industry is totally absent in Egypt, technologies that developed in industrialized countries neglect purchasing power and local conditions of those who may need it in developing countries, families in urban areas in Egypt cant secure enough food for their children due to high cost of fresh fruits and vegetables, in the same time poor hungry farmers in rural areas leave their perishable crops in fields with no harvest due to high transport cost that prevent them from access high value distant urban markets where huge need to get high income ,the result is the increase of fresh food prices in markets of urban areas due to inevitability of enough amounts of fruits and vegetables ,and inability of rural farmers to secure enough food for their families to be consumed in off season, so the problem is not because of unavailability of food, but it’s because of inability of rural farmers to transport their crops to urban areas, thus rural farmers are in need for appropriate tools to quickly process their perishable crops at farm level before rot can be occurred, to extend crops shelf life for later sell , export or to be consumed by rural farmers themselves , and reduce both of crops bulkiness and weight thus reduce transport cost to enable them access urban areas where availability of much food can reduce food prices to cover urban need in reasonable price.

What is the estimated population (current 2020) in your Place?

10000000

Challenges: Describe the current (2020) and the future (2050) challenges that your food system faces.

The scarcity of natural resources, will limit Egypt ability to reclaim more land to feed its growing population, thus Egyptian farmers soon will be asked to produce more and more food from less and less natural resources, in the same time Egypt climbs the top of the highest contributing countries to food waste, rural farmers cant secure enough food for their families,continues increase of fuel prices, effects dramatically on crops transportation cost, and forces farmers to leave their crops with no harvest when transportation cost exceeds crops market value,both of food waste and loss form great loss for farmers income and harm environment , increasing food production to increase food security has destructive effect on environment, ( producing just one ton of tomato emits up to 90 kg of CO 2 to environment, while just one ton of waste tomato emits up to 22 M 3 of methane gas to environment) , so we have to put in consideration that the environment pays for the food we grow and the food goes to waste , for reasons above ECO believes that reducing post-harvest loss is the best and may be will be the only option to overcome hunger on the long run, it believes that the main challenge is to help rural farmers to reduce post-harvest loss , and extend shelf life of their perishable crops ,by providing them with needed appropriate tools to reduce both of bulk and weight of their perishable crops , thus reduce transport cost to enable them access high value distant urban markets to get fair income for their produce, increase food availability, thus reduce food prices in such huge distant markets ,while securing some nutrient food for their families, traditional sun drying method is weather dependent , not reliable,cant be done in rainy season, needs intensive land and labor ,slow as food needs several days and sometimes weeks to dry, lake of control in drying process thus food loss many of vitamins and both of natural color and natural enzymes,done in unhygienic conditions as food be contaminated with insects, birds, rates ,--- that reduce too much food quality and price, also sun dried crops are of low shelf life ,are not pure as farmers has to add salt to reduce mold growth,and suffers of uneven drying thus it should be stored in cold storage

Address the Challenges: Describe how your Vision will address the challenges described in the previous question.

ECO vision based on its firm believing that reducing post-harvest loss is the shortest and fastest way to increase food security without adding more stress on limited natural resources and environment, it will achieve its vision by providing small holder farmers for the first time with specifically tailored , unique, innovative ,appropriate whole system for food preservation and storage , that can serve efficiently and economically on farm/house levels in all weather conditions, with minimal dependency on conventional sources of energy and based on next generation technology of food dehydration and modified traditional methods for food preservation and storage ,ECO is to help rural to preserve crops surplus that usually goes to waste, extend their shelf life, for later sell , export and to secure some nutrient food for their families it designed to reduce crops bulkiness, thus reduce transport cost, to enable them to access urban areas that suffer of food shortage and high price, , and produce top quality dehydrated produce that can compete aggressively in global market to get 30 times increase in income comparing with selling fresh crops while creating in house income for rural women, preserving environment and natural resources , ECO uses tech innovation to bridge the gab between existing technology of food preservation and appropriate technology that can serve efficiently in local conditions of developing countries, ECO products granted a patent(the second one is in process) and 8 awards from UK,Austria,Brussels, Nigeria, U N D P, Egypt---

High Level Vision: With these challenges addressed, now provide a high level description of how the Place and the lives of its People will be different than they are now.

urban families suffer of food insecurity, and rural farmers suffer of hunger and poverty, while food production is more than enough to feed both in urban and rural areas? Egypt spends a lot of money to reclaim more lands thus increase stress on limited natural resources and harm environment, while up to 45% of Egyptian crops goes to waste? in some months of the year people in urban areas strive to purchase tomato while those in rural areas leave up to 4 million ton of tomato in fields with no harvest? rural farmers sometimes use their crops as very costly animal feed while people in urban areas suffer of food shortage and high price, Egypt the 5th world tomato producer imports both of fresh and processed tomato ? water forms up to 95% of fruits and vegetables that increases their weight and bulkiness thus increases transport cost (as 95% of transport and storage cost goes to transport and storage water not nutrient components) ? ECO vision is to help Egypt to create a new food system based on reducing post-harvest loss and waste, our vision is to provide rural by needed appropriate tools (whole system for food dehydration and storage ) to help them turning crops surplus , especially the 4 million ton of fresh tomato that goes to waste annually into high value ,100% pure , healthy , nutrient powdered tomato sauce , with top quality that meet international market quality standards ,ready to sell with no need for additional processing steps,store-able for several weeks with no need for cold storage, to cover the need of local markets and export, thus increase national/rural income, and food security, while extending crops self-life to be consumed , sell , or export in high price off season, reducing crops bulk and weight by up to 20 times for cheaper transport and storage , creating sustainable income for rural women , helping families to reduce food expenses, and secure more nutrient food for their children, by increasing food availability in urban areas

Full Vision: How do you describe your Vision for a regenerative and nourishing food future for your Place and People for 2050?

The UN estimates that Egypt’s population will rise by 60 percent to over 150 million by 2050. Consequently, by 2050 agricultural production has to increase by 7% to face population increase in Egypt (source Sustainability of Agricultural Environment in Egypt: Part II) however desertification, rising world food prices as well as limited water and agricultural land in Egypt, in addition to population growth and climate change, delay Egypt’s ability to provide food for its people in the future, rural farmers suffer of poverty and hunger despite that they leave their crops with no harvest, families in urban areas surfers of continuous increase of food prices that prevent them from securing enough food for their children, while up to 45% of Egyptian crops goes to waste ???, ECO believes that Egypt has to create a new food system based on reducing post-harvest loss which now amount to 45 to 55 % of the perishable food produces , it believes that all community members(families, rural women and farmers---- ) can contribute in solving food insecurity , ECO is a multiple awards winning / only Arab food dehydrators provider, with the technical and financial support from EU Switch Med regional program , Maser E l Heir innovating for a cause national program and Tony Elumelu African entrepreneurship program ,it managed to develop and adopt both of alpha and beta tests for 3 innovative patented models of its products that can serve on family, small and medium commercial scales, ECO vision is to provide small holder farmers ,rural women, unemployed and urban families by innovative, reliable, patented, food dehydrators ( whole system for crops preservation and storage) with different models and capacities , that can serve on house or farm level , and based on next generation technology of food dehydration, and modified traditional methods for food preservation and storage ,specifically tailored to serve efficiently and economically in local conditions of developing countries ,whatever weather conditions ( with minimal dependency on conventional sources of energy ), each unit of ECO can form in house or on farm small scale production line to enable farmers , rural women and urban families for the first time, turning crops surplus that usually goes to waste into , high value, nutrient, healthy , pure ,top quality, powdered tomato sauce, and powdered fruit drinks in just hours, can be sold by up to 30 times increase in price comparing with fresh, to increase farmers income, food security, extend shelf life of perishable crops for later consumption, sell or export, reduce crops bulk and weight by up to 20 times thus reduce transport and storage cost by the same rate to enable farmers access high value distant market that reduces food cost to meet purchasing power in urban areas ,while creating in house sustainable income for rural women and unemployed in food processing by dehydrating fruits and vegetables in low price harvest season to be sold in high price off season ,helping families to reduce food expenses , bridging the gap of nutrient supply around the year and securing more nutrient food for their children by dehydrating fruits and vegetables in low price harvest season to be consumed in high price off season ,preserving environment and natural resources by reducing greenhouse gas emission from waste crops and maximizing efficiency of farm imputes Example for ECO positive impact on food security, rural income and environment Egyptian tomato producer used to -Leave it with no harvest due to high transport cost and low market value -Sell it quickly at farm gate before mold growth =less than 1 LE/1 kg fresh -Dry it under the sun, to export it =2$/Kg that produces from 10 KG fresh= about 3.2 LE/one kg fresh, while price of Egyptian tomato powder produces by commercial production line =662 LE/kg (20 kg fresh tomato =1 kg powder) = 33 LE /1 kg fresh-so each unit of ECO can form in house small production line to enable farmers for the first time turning tomato surplus that usually goes to waste into top quality, pure sauce powder in just hours to get up to 30 times increase in price comparing with selling them fresh-ECO medium commercial model can process up to 15 ton of tomato surplus /year that otherwise go to waste, as one ton of waste tomato emits up to 22 M 3 of methane gas thus total reduction of methane gas emission/year/just one unit of ECO medium commercial model=330 M 3/year ), as producing one ton of tomato emits up to 90 kg of CO 2, thus one unit of ECO medium commercial scale can reduce CO 2 emission by up to 1350 kg/year

at the end please imagine hundreds  or thousands  of  several models of specifically tailored , innovative ECO food dehydrators between the hands of all community members (farmers , rural women, unemployed, and urban families), to enable, and empower  them for the first time to  quickly dehydrate as much as of fruits and vegetables in harvest season,inside their homes or at farms, please imagine turning  thousands and possibly millions of  tons of fruits and vegetables surplus into durable, light weight, easy to stores and transport, nutrient, healthy , pure ,powdered and crispy  fruit drinks and powdered tomato sauce, store-able for several months with no need for cold storage for later sell, consumption and or export, as  just one unit of ECO large commercial scale can dehydrate up to 40 tons of fruits and vegetables surplus/year that otherwise would go to waste , please imagine the increase in food security, farmers income , and number of income creation opportunities for rural women and unemployed if they may be provided by ECO, please imagine the positive effect on environment and scarce natural resources

How did you hear about the Food System Vision Prize?

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8 comments

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Spam
Photo of Mohammed Hassan (PhD)
Team

Salam Ahmad Megahed,
Masha Allah ! Tabaarak Allah !! The idea: "ECO food dehydrators" is really marvelous in helping farmers for the first time turning crops surplus that usually goes to waste into powdered fruit drinks and powdered tomato sauce... This will really help in solving one of the greatest problem in global food chain - that is post-harvest loss. My question is: What will be the cost (price) of a unit of the Eco Food Dehydrators ? Will it be affordable to resource-poor African farmers that constitute 70% - 80% of the population in sub-saharan Africa ? Or for now it is only meant for Egyptian population.
Regards,
Muhammad Hassan,
Maiduguri, Nigeria

Spam
Photo of Ahmed Megahed
Team

Dear Muhammed: - thank you very much for your interest in ECO,we focus on quality and durability of our products to build a strong brand name , thus we use top quality components (German, Turkish and Korean origin ), also all trays made of stainless steel grade 304 to insure that dehydrated produce will meet international markets quality standards, price based on capacity, it starts from 250 $/unit, we have quite background about purchasing power in developing countries ,and we receive dozens of orders from African countries including Nigeria, lower price models are in process, based on our experiments all of our products can pay for themselves in just few months, however we CAN TOO MUCH REDUCE PRICE OF OUR PRODUCTS if we may get some financial support to achieve mass production, thank you once again for your comment , Regards , Ahmed ECO food dehydrators Egypt

Spam
Photo of Mohammed Hassan (PhD)
Team

Dear Ahmad,
I am really delighted to learn from you that lower price models of the ECO are in process. This will certainly help people is sub-sahara Africa where the purchasing power in most countries is very low and the farmers and even food processors are very much in need of the ECO. Certainly getting financial support will immensely help to achieve mass production of the ECO at affordable price to resource-poor Africans. I will also suggest that you contact some companies in China and collaborate with them to help in mass production at affordable price.
Best regards,

Spam
Photo of Ahmed Megahed
Team

Dear Mohammed: - many thanks for your interest in ECO, I would like to draw your kind attention that we offer not just food dehydrators, but a whole system for food preservation and storage, that is appropriate for local conditions of developing countries, our products based on long years of hard work and research, and we also have a ready development program that includes many of innovative products ,we are ready to launch our products as soon as we may receive some financial support , best regards, Ahmed, ECO food dehydrators

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