Wakati One is a preservation technique for fruits and vegetables in developing countries. Keeping the quality of the crops is essential for expanding both the local market and the highly profitable export market, both drive local economies. With 45% of the crops that end up as waste (UN FAO) there is a lot of room to increase productivity, especially in countries like Kenya and Tanzania. Interview with inventor
Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, India, Indonesia. Interview with inventor
$100 USD Interview with inventor
Purdue Improved Crop Storage (PICS)
Goal 2: improve food security and nutrition, by preventing gastrointestinal issues due to poorly preserved food.
The target user groups are fruit and vegetable producing smallholders, with special attention for female farmers. Post-harvest losses are a concern for everyone making a living of fresh crops in developing countries and is becoming a key focus of many NGOs. Beside the NGOs, agricultural wholesalers are the other key customers, as they have a direct line to almost every small-holder farmer in developing countries, of which 247 million live in a dry climate suitable for Wakati.
Prototyped using Fused Deposition Modeling process with stereolithography. A final master was created for a silicone mould. Vacuum casting was used to create a run of 120 units.
Protoype. In the process of applying for a patent
Wakati is currently in pre-production. The organization aimed to start production after the summer of 2015. Distributors are NGOs, social enterprises and agricultural wholesales. Interview with inventor
171 prototype units (Wakati is still in pre-production)
The Wakati consists of a tent-like structure with a 3-watt, photovoltaic solar-powered fan and water tray evaporator inside. A ventilator powered by a 3-watt solar panel gradually evaporates 200 ml of water per week, generating a humid environment within the tent that keeps cells intact and prevents mold and fungi from spreading. Each tent is capable of preserving up to 150 kilograms of produce for up to eight days, greatly reducing potential food waste and giving farmers more time to sell their crops. Moreover, the tarp packaging of the Wakati can be stored and used at any point to mend ruptures that may form in the tent. The optimal use of Wakati One is outside, in a warm and dry climate.
The tarp packaging of the Wakati can be stored and used at any point to mend ruptures that may form in the tent.
Apart from a small amount of water, around 1L of water a week, it doesn’t require any extra resources. The product does not need a power grid, it works on solar energy. Each tent is capable of preserving up to 150 kilograms of produce for up to 8 days.
University of Leuven – KU Leuven; University of Antwerp, Belgium; The World Vegetable Center (AVRDC)
Independent field assessment by Cordaid (Catholic Organisation for Relief & Development Aid) Full report is available here: New crop storage means less harvest loss: Improved storage to reduce post-harvest losses
The evaluation project was launched in November 2014, in three stages: Stage 1: validating the performance and use of the Wakati One in the field with different products and in different environments. This involved a pilot with 105 farmers in Haiti, Uganda and Afghanistan. These farmers received the bags for free and in return provided valuable evaluation information.
Stage 2: validating the business model. This involved a pilot with 200 farmers in 3 countries in which the business model will be tested, encompassing the sale of the Wakati One to farmers. In this phase experiments with various business models and repayment schemes for the bags were conducted.
Stage 3: Up scaling. This involved the up scaling of activities to multiple regions and countries to increase the number of farmers worldwide that make use of the Wakati One. During this phase Cordaid looked at opportunities of scaling up throughout the value chain, developing the product to make it suitable for other value chain actors such as trader, wholesalers, retailers and even consumers.
Antwerp students place second in biomimicry contest.
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