NEW COOLING TECHNOLOGY OF ZERO ENERGY COOLING CHAMBERS (ZECC) INTRODUCED IN IRINGA
Spoilage or perishability of fresh fruits and vegetables is a serious problem in tropical countries. Cool storage can prolong the life of fresh produce, but refrigeration equipment is expensive to buy, expensive to run, and expensive to maintain. There is, however, a practical, low-cost alternative for on-farm fruit and vegetable storage which employs the cooling power of evaporation. Zero energy cool chambers (ZECC) stay 10- 15° C cooler than the outside temperature and maintain about 90 percent relative humidity. And they are easy to build out of locally available materials, such as brick, sand, bamboo, straw, and gunny bags.
This incredible environmentally friendly technology was recently introduced in Iringa by MUVI Project-Tomato Value Chain Implementers (VCIP-Business Care Services Ltd). Already, a demonstration centre has been built within SIDO premises and more than two tomato growers associations have had the opportunity to learn not only how it works but also how it’s built. We envisage that transfer of such cheap and affordable technologies to the farmers will motivate them to increase yield of the crops (particularly tomatoes), reduce post harvest loss which has been a critical bottleneck to the farmers, ensure health and safety of tomatoes before reaching collection centers, promoting marketability and profitability, these facilities can be constructed by unskilled people and can help farmers avoid costly rush selling. SIDO has been advocating the use and application of locally sourced technologies but at the same time encouraging transfer of technologies from other parts of the world to support farmers in their endeavor for agro-mechanization.