Increasing Farmer Incomes: Solar Drying Solutions
Phase One

We are testing a solar dryer to develop a simple solution to prevent crops from spoilage

K-Dryer
Solar Dryer
  • Faster than traditional methods of drying
  • High capacity with storage shelving
  • Protects produce from contamination from animals or wet weather
Kopernik's solar dryer will be made from readily available materials

This project has been completed.
Thank you to all who contributed.

Challenge: 

Smallholder farmers in Indonesia typically sell raw (unprocessed) crops at very low prices - earning very little income. The prices for raw produce are much lower than prices for value-added agricultural produce.

Drying of agricultural produce is necessary to prevent crops from spoilage. This process allows the removal of moisture from the produce so that bacteria, yeasts and mould don’t grow and the produce can be stored, either for consumption or for transportation to sell.

The traditional practice of drying crops involves spreading the produce on the ground, in a field or on the road, exposing it to the effects of the sun and the wind. The challenge with this practice is it produces inconsistent results. It does not protect the produce from contamination from dirt or animals, infestation from insects and mould in wet weather.

What we want to test: 

We are building a simple solar dryer from locally available materials that can dry large quantities (for example up to one tonne of cashews at a time) of agricultural produce. This is a tool through which farmers can add value to their produce, increasing the quality and sales price.

What will we measure: 

We will conduct side by side tests with cashews and copra (dried coconut) using the traditional method of drying versus drying in the solar dryer to determine and compare the following:

  • How long it takes to achieve optimum moisture level (optimum moisture level is 6 - 7% for copra and 5% for cashews)
  • Appearance and quality 
  • Taste
  • Drying performance when it rains
  • Feedback on product quality from potential buyers
Who are we working with: 

We are helping local cashew and copra farmers in Adonara, East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia, who currently use traditional methods of drying crops. This project is part of Kopernik’s new initiative - the Village Depot or Depot Desa in Indonesian. This is a centralised agro-processing facility where smallholder farmers can access simple technologies to add value to their crops and increase food security and income.

Project timeframe: 
Six months
Location :
Project Costs: 
Cost TypeCost DescriptionCost Unit AmountCost QuantityCost Amount
Product - Solar dryer
Cost of technology - building materials and labour
$2,000.00
1
$2,000.00
Tools for solar dryer
Cost of technology (includes shipping, duty, clearance)
$230.00
1
$230.00
Transport for materials
Technology shipping
$100.00
1
$100.00
Solar panel, inverter, and fans
Cost of technology (includes shipping, duty, clearance)
$250.00
1
$250.00
Cashew and coconut for testing
Cost of crops
$350.00
1
$350.00
Vacuum sealer to preserve dried goods
Cost of technology (includes shipping, duty, clearance)
$1,000.00
1
$1,000.00
Moisture meter for copra
Cost of technology (includes shipping, duty, clearance)
$130.00
1
$130.00
Bags for storing dried food
Cost of technology
$30.00
1
$30.00
Operator costs
$50.00
1
$50.00
Project management
$750.00
1
$750.00
Data collection and documentation
Project monitoring and evaluation
$750.00
1
$750.00
Payment processing fee
3.3% average based on the average size of project and average donation amount
$186.12
Administration fee
Covers due diligence, monitoring, printing & administration related costs
$873.92
TOTAL
$6,700.04
Fluctuations in currency exchange rates and shipping costs may change the final quantity of technologies we ship for this project.

A huge Kopernik thank you to the 66 people who pitched in $6,700.04