Solar drying technology for smallholder farmers in Ghana
Duration: 01 January 2015 – 14 October 2017
Aim: Catalyze small-scale processing of fruits which otherwise would have gone waste.
Objective: Increasing smallholder farmers income and nutrition.
Method: Researching best suited designs for drying large volumes of fruits and developing technologies for remotely controlling processing parameters. Doing a market intelligence study to try to find potential export market in the Netherlands or Europe.
Dutch policy goals: Increased sustainable agricultural production; Improved access to nutrition; More efficient markets; and A better business climate.
Year 2: The main goal of this project is to develop a low entry-cost automated prototype drying oven. The project has successfully designed, developed and commissioned a low-cost solar drying chamber, made by local artisans and with local materials to process fruits. The drying chamber uses solar as the main energy source but can also be run by Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG) and is mobile. During this reporting period, a successful second rounds of testing of the installed solar dryer was conducted. The dried samples showed remarkable results in terms of nutritional composition and absence of contaminants of any form. Perhaps the most interesting of all the results achieved during the reporting period is the development of a Micro Mobile Dryers (MMD), also powered by solar for smallholders. This is expected to catalyze on-farm processing, reduce post-harvest losses and offer guaranteed markets to thousands of smallholder’s farmers across Ghana.