Food loss and food waste have become an important topic in the development community, especially in ASEAN where the tropical climate is dominant, big population and post –harvesting and processing techniques are not yet widely accessible for population at the base of the pyramid. The agricultural sectors in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia are dominated by smallholder farming activities, in which drying is one of the main post-harvest approaches to preserve the quality of agricultural products.
Missing technical or process knowledge leaves farmers’ produce as low-quality dried products. Without knowledge transfer, they only use the solar dryer dome to reduce the moisture in their raw product, rather than further involve it in processing and diversify their products, adding more value and later profit into their agro-products. Solar dryer domes remain new and unpopular to rural populations, due to a lack of information dissemination on media, and in their networks.
Covestro aims to promote the solar dryer dome as the farmer –friendly innovation for post –harvest production. The product is cost-effective as it reduces or eliminates fossil fuel costs, has no operating and maintenance costs, and replacement costs remain low. The dryer dome also reduces food losses in post-harvest, enhances food quality by preserving flavor, color, and up to 95% of nutritional value, and provides technical options for further processing and adding value to food by using solar energy.
Covestro plans to consolidate and transfer knowledge to farmers, to produce high–value processed products for markets as well as support the pilots of different business and management models.
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