Friday, February 22, 2013

Improving Opportunities by Building Solar Food Dryers In Nicaragua

Ralph Bucca, an Agro-Processing Specialist with several volunteer assignments with the Farmer to Farmer Program in the past, was in Nicaragua this January doing what he does best: assisting and training small producers in low-technology and hands-on solutions that inexpensively improve food processing and, consequently, farmers’ livelihoods.

For approximately two weeks, Mr. Bucca worked with Nicaraguan host organizations and conducted technical workshops on the construction, use and management of solar food dryers, for the purpose of food preservation and value added products. The tasks were fulfilling not only for Mr. Bucca but also for those local producers, many of them women, who were assisted. As he remarked while he was helping building these solar ovens to a group of eight women in Esteli, Nicaragua:
“[these] women might not have ever used a saw, hammer, measuring tape, staple gun or screw driver… but they all seem to have a good time and are proud when it is done .“

These kinds of assignments touch bases with what is the Farmer to Farmer’s general idea: “improving economic opportunities by creating sustainable (and achievable) solutions”… or, in this particular case, by building (and understanding how to effectively use) low-cost solar food dryers.

Ralph Bucca and the lumberman that
helped him to cut up the prieces for
the solar ovens.

Hardware and wood ready to build the solar ovens kits.

Local farmers building one of the solar food dryers.

The output: Solar food dryers built!  
Group of women farmers enjoying the task of building these dryers

1 comment:

  1. I love what you guys are doing here! Its so important to get out there and make a difference! Help me bring solar energy to an underdeveloped community in Nicaragua this summer so they can have access to safe drinking water, showers, refrigeration and communications. Check out my page to learn more!