Reducing Waste in Haiti Using Solar Fruit Drying
Our team designed and prototyped a solar fruit drier that will be used by a nonprofit organization and implemented throughout Haiti to help reduce tropical agricultural waste.
It was discovered that Haiti experiences massive amounts of spoiled food every year, specifically, tropical fruit. Fruit that is not sold or consumed within a set amount of time ends up spoiling and is no longer safe to sell or eat. In a developing country such as Haiti, this is a huge problem, especially considering the large poverty rates found there. Currently, there are no viable options for preserving this fruit, either for resale or direct consumption, in environments with limited resources. The biggest challenge with preserving this fruit appears to be the lack of resources to create the controlled environment needed in order to dry this fruit safely and effectively.
Solar crop dryers provide a cost and resource effective means to dry, and therefore preserve, the tropical fruits found in Haiti. By using heat provided by the sun, moisture can be removed from these fruits which normally go to waste, extending their shelf life substantially.