This are the team members of sparky having a happy moment with their product....
A thermo dehydrator for drying vegetable and fruits power by harvest bio-waste to prolong self-life of the produce from 2 days to 2 year.
Agriculture is the main source of livelihood in Uganda and across Africa yet 45% of harvested produced (mainly fruits and vegetables) are lost before consumption, according to FAO (2013). The post-harvest losses are due to poor handling and preservation means. The main open sun drying method for preservation used by 90% of the farmers is limited to drying high sugar and acid content fruits and not recommended for drying vegetables. This method and also solar dryers in the market takes a long time, 3-8 days to dehydrate, unhygienic and highly depended on the weather which is very unpredictable in todays climate change. Electric powered dehydrator is another alternative however it is very expensive ($150-$300) and over 85% of Uganda’s small scale farmers’ don’t have access to electricity.
Sparky shall reduce post-harvest losses by increasing shelf-life of harvested fruits and vegetables from 3 days to 1 year through thermo dehydration preservation methods powered by harvest wastes (stems, branches and leaves) as bio fuel. The innovation offers the value of reliability as it dehydrates 5 times faster than solar dryers and 10 times faster than open sun drying method, with minimal bio fuel while maintaining all the nutrients. It is convenient to use as it portable and affordable. With sparky, a farmer can dry up to 100kg of produce within 5 hours with only 2kg of bio fuel (with zero CO2 emission) irrespective of weather. This will mean more income available for the farmers (reduce poverty) and more food available consumption (increased food security).
Sparky is a low tech thermo dehydrator for vegetable, fruits cassava and sweet potatoes power by harvest bio-waste to prolong the self-life of the produce from 2 days to 2 year. It targets 4 million farmers in Uganda and 700million more across Africa. With using recycled materials, the product cost only 80$, three times less expensive than electric dehydrators (300$). It is also more reliable, clean and convenient than open sun dying (used by 90% of farmers today) and solar dryers which is dependent on weather. We shall earn revenue through direct sales to farmers through SACCO groups and farmers associations as channels. On successful scale across Uganda in three years, sparky shall scale the use of its innovation across Africa and Asia with current post-harvest losses at 45%.
There is one of the member doing the final bit of the work by painting it to give it a good looking colour and also environmental protection.
Team members finalizing on the dryer production ,
Doing some assembly to put all the body parts together and make it a working prototype
Qualify dried fruits and vegetables at all seasons