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Case Study: Solar Crop Dryers:

Food spoilage is one of the critical problems the world is facing today. A
majority of food spoilage is happening in the post-harvest period due to
inadequate storage and processing facilities. Cold storage is a good option but it
is very expensive and energy intensive. Hence, food drying comes to light.
Drying is one of the oldest methods used for food preservation. Crops in many
regions around the world have traditionally been solar dried in order to preserve
them. That is, using the sun to dry vegetables and fruits. However, crops left
outdoors are vulnerable to pests and need someone to guard them.
A solar crop dryer is used to reduce crop losses during in-season harvesting
periods. A solar-dried crop is hygienic and preserves nutritional value. A solar
crop dryer reduces drying time with protection from external disturbances such
as pests, rain and wind. Despite the great impact in meeting food security, rural
farmer groups were more interested in solar dryers for income generation than
for food. The “Fruits of the Nile” company was founded in 1990s to link rural
producers in Uganda with the market for dried fruit in Europe.
The company is a cooperative enterprise where local farmers own and manage
the company. Within three years, more than 50 farmer groups had taken up the

solar drier technology, and in 1995, the company exported more than 40 tons of
dried fruit. The dried fruit is produced by the farmer groups and transported to a
central collection point in the capital city Kampala. Produce is then inspected for
quality and exported to a marketing group in the UK.


write a report addressing the following questions:

Question 1: (500 – 750 words)

Reflecting on Fruits of the Nile, discuss the sustainable development role played
by the company in supporting the local community in Uganda. How does the
company achieve success regarding the three pillars of sustainability (the TBL)?

Question 2: (500 – 750 words)
Discuss the factors affecting innovations in cleaner technologies and
environmentally friendly innovations. In your opinion, which of these factors
is/are most influential to the success of Fruit of the Nile and why?

*you should use the e-library resources as well as web resources to read
about the obstacles, challenges, and success factors of similar SMEs in their
sustainable development actions


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