The problem: Farmers in rural communities are often marginalized, facing extreme difficulties to access markets. One root cause lies in the complexity and cost in the supply chain for fresh agriculture products. Perishability and bulkiness of crops combined with remoteness and price volatility in markets confine farmers to trade locally and limit their production.
Proposed Solution: The implementation of on-farm solar drying technology will steer the agricultural sector towards a more sustainable, integrated and efficient food supply system.Dehydration is among the oldest preservation methods that can be combined with the newest technologies to allow high-quality, natural, healthy and marketable products. Tunnel solar dryers on-the-farm or at easy-to-reach aggregation points are a feasible, scalable, sustainable and high impact opportunity, especially in rural areas of developing countries. We believe our solution is a key enabling technology to connect smallholder farmers to highly developed markets and integrated supply chains, while minimizing waste along the food supply chain. Our solution addresses the challenge as it is meant for rural and remote communities to create sustainable value-added local products with local inputs, to develop well connected supply chains that promote open and inclusive trade opportunities. Through our technology and the resulting supply chain simplification, it´s possible to increase the production of low-carbon emission healthy foods in rural areas and farmers can trade them on diversified and global markets. More value is added within the rural communities yielding more income from a wider trading base. This is achieved through the introduction of a designed-for-purpose technology in combination with relevant knowledge and skills transfer. This upskills rural labour force to include modern food processing.
Benefits of on-farm drying: All harvest is processed immediately and in-situ, without being subject to storage and transport damage or loss on its way to a processing factory or to a consumer market. On-farm drying eliminates the biggest cause of waste along the fresh product value chain. It ensures the development of highly demanded products for local and international markets. It enables lean and efficient logistics between farms and consumers. The entire economical value of the benefit is captured on the farm. Rural areas revenue will be a bigger share of the integrated value chain. Drying removes up to 80% of crops´ water, which proportionally reduces its weight and volume. This simplifies the storage and handling restrictions as well as it lowers the cost to transport it to local, regional or international markets. Dried products have an extended shelf life, which allows them to reach distant markets and be consumed before expiry date.