Technical Platform on the Measurement and Reduction of Food Loss and Waste

Solar energy drying for root crop development in the Caribbean region

A webinar titled “Solar energy drying for root crop development in the Caribbean region” was convened on 6 August 2020, by the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI) in the framework of a Letter of Agreement (LoA), with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). This LoA provides support to the piloting of solar technologies for the drying of root crops and the production of root crop flours to increase value addition in the root crop sector, reducing the dependence on fossil fuels for these value adding activities, thereby building resilience in agri-food value chains.
 
Harnessing the use of energy smart options like solar energy in value adding activities has the potential to not only reduce food losses, but also to promote import substitution through the partial substitution (up to 40 %) of wheat flour in bakery products.
 
Work currently under implementation in the framework of this LoA in Grenada constitutes FAO’s contribution to an on-going collaborative project with INCATEMA Consulting and Engineering in the framework of a Memorandum of Understanding signed with FAO in 2019.
 
The webinar was attended by 95 participants, a majority of whom were from the Caribbean region. Chaired by Mr. Reginald Andal, the technical officer responsible for project implementation, the webinar included opening remarks from Mr Barton Clarke, Executive Director, CARDI; Mr. Elvis Morain, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Lands, Grenada; Dr Renata Clarke, FAO Sub-Regional Coordinator for the Caribbean and Dr. Rosa Rolle, Senior Enterprise Development Officer, FAO, HQ and Lead Technical Officer responsible for the design and oversight of this project.
 
The webinar included the participation of two mains speakers: Dr. Lynda Wickham, Retired UWI Lecturer in Crop Post-production Technology and Dr. Randy Koon Koon, Lecturer in Physics, UWI, who presented their initiatives and perspectives on the production and use of sweet potato flour and solar drying respectively.
 
The recorded webinar can be accessed here.

Photo credit: ©FAO/Pier Paolo Cito - Demonstration of Solar Technologies for Small-scale Agriculture in FAO HQ