Developmental Association for Renewable Energies (DARE) has introduced the first Solar-Bubble-dryer (SBD) for Nigerian farmers.
Executive Director of DARE Yahaya Ahmed told newsmen in Kaduna that the machine was specifically developed to help farmers curb the huge post-harvest losses they usually experience.
The outbreak of Covid-19 worsened matters in Nigeria as millions of smallholder farmers had to watch their fresh produce rot in their farms due to lockdown restrictions imposed by the government in 2020.
‘Farmers who grow perishable crops suffered most during the initial lockdown. This led to a surge in post-harvest losses’, the National President of All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Ibrahim Kabiru, had said.
‘Many of them are still struggling to recover from the huge losses they incurred and could not even access the Central Bank’s N50billion credit facility’.
Post-harvest losses in Nigeria, according to experts, range between five and 20 percent for grains; 20 percent for fish, and as high as between 50 and 60 percent for tubers, fruits, and vegetables.
SBM Intel, in a 2021 report, titled, Nigerians just want to eat: Analysis of Farmers and Food Transporters challenges likely to impede National Food Security’, revealed that 47 percent of farmers had zero access to any kind of storage facilities during harvest, which could rise up to as high as 60 percent for tubers, fruits and vegetables.
In his remarks, Ahmed explained that the machine can be used for drying perishable food crops like tomatoes, mangoes, apples and other crops without them losing taste.
He also said with a life span of over 20 years, if properly maintained, coupled with its mobility, non-dependent on either fuel or electricity, and low cost of operation, the Solar-Bubble-Dryer machine is a great option for farmers.
‘It is the cheapest and the best way to preserve all farm produce in Nigeria’, he said.
Source: African Climate Reporters
Photo source: African Climate Reporters