Esigodini Agricultural College has introduced a solar dryer designed to preserve fruits and vegetables.
The drier is environmentally friendly as it uses the sun as its source of energy and is easy to use for laymen.
Head of Agricultural Engineering Tawanda Nyamandi said the innovation recently introduced has been used by students in their training and entrepreneurship projects. Nearby communities have embraced the solar drier to reduce harvest losses.
A lecturer in the Engineering section, Tawanda Chamabona said college staff and students were trained to make the dryer by a non-governmental organization, Green Impact in association with Harare Research Station.
“The solar dryer is a quick means of drying products like all vegetables, fruits, and meat. It is easy to put together and is also cheap given that it only uses solar energy,” he said.
Chamabona said he is pleased by the overwhelming response from local communities who visit the college in groups to learn about using the dryer.
The solar dryers have become a source of income for the college. So far, two driers have been sold to horticultural cooperative groups and a number of orders have been received.
Former student, Clever Moyo who is now an agropreneur said the solar dryer has made life easier for people in his trade.
“Traditional drying methods accumulate dust and small stones during the process which is not the case with the solar dryer as it maintains the original composition, taste, colour of the product,” he said.
Use of the solar dryer is set to ease preservation efforts in these rural parts where refrigeration is hard to come by.
Source: Community Podium