ATP’s innovative dryer uses solar power to preserve fruit, vegetables, grains, and spices, and retains 35% more nutrients than traditional sun drying. After the drying process, shelf-life is increased by up to one year, versus a few days at most if not dried, meaning farmers have a second route to market for previously unsellable produce.
The processors which convert the crops into dry ingredients using the device are all local women, trained by ATP in the use of solar drying technology, who can earn over double the annual income they make as farm labourers while operating the portable dryer from their own homes. Women are thereby aided in transitioning from low productivity subsistence labour to higher-income, dignified entrepreneurship work.
ATP also purchases lower-grade produce – which would otherwise be rejected by buyers due to size, shape or colour – from local smallholder farmers, and brings it to the processors to dry. The dried produce is then packaged by ATP at a central facility for sale to large-scale production companies, Vendors and food service providers.