Research Results from AVRDC
We have been testing our technology in the past years with the international research institution ARDC in Arusha, Tanzania.
See below an overview. You can also download the research results here.
Hypothesis of Wakati:
Keeping fruits and vegetables in premium quality at farm level will lower post-harvest losses throughout the whole supply chain. An on-farm storage will increase the quality of crops and the profitability of the smallholders.
Affordable and low-energy on-farm fruits & vegetables storage for smallholder farmers in developing countries, without using cooling.
Smallholder farmers can store there produce on farm by a protective microclimate inside a tent with a storage of 200 -1000 kg. the protective microclimate works by 1) Increasing the humidity to keep cell structure in tact 2) ozone sterilisation to reduce mold growth 3) oxidising storage, the ripening hormone of fruits and vegetables by ozone.
Minimal viable product of Wakati:
Pop-up style tent, made of airtight fabric, contains the microclimate during the storage. A solar panel of 10 watt creates the high humidity atmosphere by ultrasonic evaporation and an electric corona discharge creates ozone. No additional chemicals are needed, just add water.
On-farm storage is not the answer, famers want to push forward their produce and limit their risk, mobile phones has greatly increase the transparency of the marketplace. Great interest from collection points and out-growers schemes that transport to large cities or the West.
Outcome technology by trailing at "World vegetable center" in Tanzania:
Humidity adds high value especially on short storage of less than 5 days.
Ozone does not work consistently as sterilisation agent at acceptable concentrations
Ozone as ethylene oxidator has not been observed (despite theoretical backed by academic research)
=> high humidity holds great promise as a simple yet effective way to address losses on short term (<5 days)
=> dont use ozone: no need for tent structure to keep the corrosive gas inside
=> ultrasonic can be replaced by water pressure trough spray nozzles: no need for solar panel or other electronics
=> collection points have tapwater, using this water pressure with a water hose with spray nozzles to increase the humidity will probably work just as well
=> could be interesting for during transportion, especially in India where crops are several days on the road
=> business opportunity for a technological start-up is low as no patented or complex technology. Risks are higher than potential profits.
=> large business potential for local fruit export companies.
=> large business opportunities for local companies buying cheap off the shelve water hoses and spray nozzles