Farmers adopt eco-friendly, zero-energy storage technique for vegetables in northern Ghana

| June 8, 2020

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Many African countries have closed or restricted access to fresh food markets as part of their response to COVID-19. Yet fresh foods are necessary for a balanced and nutritious diet. Our Script of the week describes how a Zero Energy Cooling Chamber can help African families extend the shelf life of vegetables.

Small-scale African farmers produce as much as 80% of their countries’ food supplies. But in many remote, rural areas of Ghana, frequent power outages and lack of access to electricity can make post-harvest storage of vegetables and other produce incredibly challenging. This means that leftover produce spoils before it can be sold at the next market day, contributing to food waste and food insecurity, as well as loss of income.

This is why post-harvest storage technologies that do not rely on electricity are some of the most reliable and sustainable ways to improve the shelf life of vegetables and other produce in Ghana—and why they contribute to food security and better incomes.

This script examines the Zero Energy Cooling Chamber (ZECC), an ideal technology for small-scale farmers and remote rural communities.

You might want to present this script as part of your regular farming program, using voice actors to represent the characters called Host 1, Host 2, Farmer 1, and Farmer 2. If you wish to adapt the script to better suit your location and community, please use interviews with farmers and experts from your own community.

You could also use this script as research material or as inspiration for creating your own programming on post-harvest technologies and zero-energy solutions to storing produce in your own region or country.

How? By talking to experts who specialize in post-harvest technology, or to farmers who use eco-friendly technologies, perhaps even Zero Energy Cooling Chambers. You might ask them:

  • What are the major crop storage challenges in your area?
  • Have these challenges changed or becoming more acute since COVID-19? How?
  • What solutions have vegetable farmers and other experts found for these challenges?
  • What are your experiences with zero-energy technologies?
  • Have you used, adapted, or changed the ZECC in any way, perhaps by using custom-made bricks or local materials?

Besides speaking directly to farmers and other experts and key players in your farming community or area, you could use these questions as the basis for a phone-in or text-in program.