Thursday, June 20, 2024
Home Change Makers Invest In Solar Driers To Reduce Post-harvest Losses 

Invest In Solar Driers To Reduce Post-harvest Losses 

by Jacquiline Nakandi
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By Umar Nsubuga

When you reach at Renewable Energy For Food and Water Engineering (REFWE) farm centre, you will not miss seeing the big new highly effective solar driers.

Professor Kant Kanyarusoke, the director of the farm centre who makes solar driers says they (solar driers) help to reduce the massive post-harvest losses of fresh produce.

“I made my owner solar driers because I wanted to reduce post-harvest losses of fresh produce. These driers can be used to dry cassava, jackfruits, mushrooms and other fruits to increase their shelf life”, he says.

Professor Kant Kanyarusoke holding a pack of dried jackfruits. He uses solar driers to dry the fruits. Photos by Umar Nsubuga

According to Kanyarusoke, the driers heat the fruits to refine export levels.

“Farmers should get these solar driers because they are used to add value to crops through drying,” he advises.

These solar driers can extend the shelf life of the harvested produce, improve its quality and bargaining position of the farmer to maintain a relatively constant price of his products and reduce post-harvest loss.

“My wife loves mushrooms. She dries them, and this technology has helped her to extend the shelf-life of her produce,” he says.

“Once I harvest the mushrooms, I dry them in this solar dryer which gives me time to sell for a longer period,” Sheila Kanyarusoke says.

This technology offers an easy-to-learn process that even rural smallholder farmers can easily learn.

It does not need to be powered up by electricity, like at REFWE, they use only solar power, but they dry fruits and vegetables.

LEAD PHOTO CAPTION: Sheila Kanyarusoke (left) inserting sliced cassava on trays in a solar drier, as Professor Kant Kanyarusoke (right) look on.

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