Submitted by: Integrated Development Group -Independant
Implemented country: Palestine, State of
Title: Safeguarding Food Supply through Sundried Fruit Vegetables, and Herbs
More than 45% of families in the Gaza Strip live below poverty level. To secure survival they are forced to dry their harvest. Traditionally this is done by using gasoline-powered generators for running dehydrators, which is not only expensive but also a health hazard for people and the environment. Solar-powered dehydrators are now used for drying fruit, vegetables, and herbs during the year in a healthy and environmentally-friendly manners. 200 farmers have already been convinced of the advantages of the machine and 60 women are supporting this way of getting things done in the Gaza Strip. Preserving foodstuffs is absolutely necessary in keeping people fed. 15 of such solar curers are already in use and more are in the course of being manufactured. The project is accompanied by training sessions and information events, but also by offering workshops and on-site demonstrations.
Another benefit is creating a higher awareness for the environment and how to deal with available resources. Health aspects are also an issue because the indirect drying of grapes, figs, herbs, etc. is especially gentle and “clean”. Besides, this is a by far more cost-effective way of drying products than the traditional way.
Rajeh Abbas, a father of three, sees the project’s main objective in an independent use of solar energy and in high-quality drying of crops with a high market value such as medicinal herbs, figs, grapes, etc. And the farmers that use solar drying-devices are enjoying their independence because they are no longer in need of financial or technical support. They are also willing to pass their skills and knowledge on to other farmers.
“We all live on this planet, so we together must maintain and sustain its systems to be able to live in peace and tranquility.”