This book is intended to assist planners and field workers who are involved in the promotion of small scale fruit and vegetable processing in developing countries. It sets out the different reasons why food processing may be important: for improved nutrition and food security; for employment and income generation. It notes the different approaches to project development that are needed to meet one or more of these differing objectives.
Many entrepreneurs may also find the information contained in the book helpful for practical implementation of the different aspects that are needed to ensure a successful business. These are not simply concerned with producing a high quality food, but also include methods of business planning, market research, securing agreements with suppliers and retailers, and monitoring the finances of a business to ensure a profitable operation.
Much of the information has come from fieldwork that I have been involved with in Africa, Asia and other regions during the last twenty years and the approach to writing the book has been very much to record my experiences and those of colleagues, rather than trying to compile yet another academic text. As such some professionals and experts in their own specific subject areas may take issue with a perceived lack of rigour in my treatment of their topic. This may or may not be justified, but I have attempted to treat each subject in a way that is accessible to, and understandable by an intelligent non-specialist; I would welcome all comments on the text, particularly if you feel that this could be better achieved.
I would like to thank all of the very many entrepreneurs and field-workers who have given so freely of their time and expertise during our meetings. Their detailed knowledge of how to practise small scale fruit and vegetable processing under difficult conditions, especially in rural areas and their unbounded enthusiasm, often in the face of enormous obstacles to success, have been inspirational. Without their assistance, this book could never have been written.
I would also like to acknowledge the following for permission to use their information: Midway Technology for Figures 1, 4, 25, 43 and 44, Intermediate Technology Publications for Figure 2, Table 23 and the text in Appendix III, FAO for Table 27, UV Systems pie, Sudbury, Suffolk, UK., for Figure 38 and Mike Dillon Associates for Figure 53.
My grateful thanks also to Mathew Whitton, for the line drawings, done in his own inimitable style, to Pamela Hopkinson for editing the text and not least to Wendy Bullar, for her ideas and constructive criticism, her unending patience and support during the preparation of the manuscript.