Over the past few years, mango production has increased significantly, earning the country over Sh7bn ($70.6m) from exports in 2010.
Although small-scale farmers contribute significantly to this production, they tend to suffer post-harvest losses of up to 45% due to lack of innovative and affordable means to add value that will improve shelf life.
A solar mango drier that costs between Sh50,000 and Sh100,000 ($505 and $1,010) – depending on size and the materials used – has been developed by the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (Kari) and other stakeholders to offer these farmers a means to make products such as mango chips (similar to potato crisps), which fetch better prices and last longer.
Kari and its partners have identified private enterprise players to commercially produce the solar-powered driers, which will be distributed to several farmers’ groups across the country to help them deal with post-harvest losses. Kari says that by adopting such innovations, farmers will be able to brand and sell their products to supermarkets, ensuring that they gain from brand quality and customer loyalty. – Business Daily
Kari: Tel +254-020-418-3720; firstname.lastname@example.org ;website: www.kari.org