Nkwelle Jacob Esong, Building Solar Dryers To Conserve Vegetables And Spices
This pilot project intends to build two types of solar dryers to enable peasant women in and around Tombel reduce post harvest loss of vegetables and spices from about 40% to less than 10%. A major problem with green leafy vegetables and spices like bitter leaf (Vernonia amydalina), Okongobong (Telifera occidentalis), Erru (Gnetum africanum), capsicum pepper and mushrooms is that they are seasonal and highly perishable. During the pick season they are often sold at give-away prices and some are simply wasted in the villages, yet people pay a lot of money for them in towns and cities.
Dried vegetables taste similar to fresh ones; they are nutritious (rich in vitamins, beta-carotene and minerals), tasty and inexpensive and they can help to reduce hunger and malnutrition.
The goal is to train a carpenter and a welder on the construction of both types of dryers and to organize a one day workshop with peasant women to demonstrate the effectiveness and efficiency of the dryers in conserving vegetables and spices. The solar dryers will increase the value of the crops, their shelf life and they will enhance food security and the farm family income of peasant women in the community.