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Solar dryers extend the lifespan of food in Zimbabwe

11 July 2017

Solar dryers are an innovative way for rural farmers to preserve their vegetable produce for future consumption, retaining its nutritional content. 

Making a solar dryer

Programme participants making a solar dryer

Trócaire’s HIV programme promotes the use of solar dryers with People Living with HIV (PLHIV), especially women and children, as they help them to access nutritional foods throughout the year. 

“The traditional way of drying food stuff often left the produce discoloured and with very little nutritional value,” said one programme participant.

Such simple innovation also improves household income as processed and dried food may be sold within and outside the community. 

using a solar dryer

A solar dryer in use

As part of the Silver Jubilee celebration of Trócaire-partner the Diocese of Mutare Community Care Programme (DOMCCP) some of the HIV programme beneficiaries exhibited their solar-powered dryers and produce. 

Also on display at the silver jubilee event from programme participants were products like lemon and orange marmalade, and jams made with tomato and sweet potato. 

These products are made by women using techniques and recipes which they learnt in the programme. 

solar dried goods

Solar-dried foods on display at Silver Jubilee event celebrating the achievements of the Diocese of Mutare Community Care Programme (DOMCCP)

comic relief logoThanks to Comic Relief’s three year grant “The Time is Now! People Living with HIV/AIDS Claiming Our Rights” (2015-2018), Trócaire in collaboration with local partners in Zimbabwe have developed an innovative technology that extends the lifespan of food.