International Studies & Programs

Concentrated Solar Drying of Fresh Agriculture Produce in Uganda

This GCFSI student innovation grant project aims to reduce post-harvest losses in Uganda by prototyping a rapid produce dryer. The technology will reduce cost, labor demands, and drying time while adding a longer shelf life to the products, which will add value and attract better market prices.


Project Team: Ssemwanga Mohammed, Swaib Semiyaga, and Nakiguli Fatumah

Ssemwanga_Mohammed.PNGIn Uganda, more than 30 percent of agricultural products are lost due to inadequate post-harvesting techniques and facilities. This is particularly troublesome for that region, since more than 85 percent of the population in Uganda is fully dependent on agriculture.

This team of innovators plans to reduce post-harvest losses due to drying by prototyping a rapid agricultural produce indirect dryer. The technology will reduce cost, labor demands, and drying time while adding a longer shelf life to the products, which will add value and attract better market prices.

This technology combines the use of indirect solar drying principle (ISD), with concentrated solar power (CSP) technology to create what is called “indirect concentrated solar dryer technology.”

The prototype resembles the shape of an old-school pinball machine containing mirrors that harness and redirect solar radiation to the products in the drying chamber, and then out the chimney. If this technology is successful, the research group plans to determine if it results in an increase in average household savings, climate resilience, market access, food security, and quality of life for farmers.