Solar dehydrators fight food waste – MEWA, Pakistan

Plight of farmers in Pakistan is aggravated through the loss/wastage of fruit and vegetables which otherwise could have earned an income for the farmers, like Ali Baksh.

The Pakistan Environmental Protection agency found that thirty percent of the fruits and vegetables produced in Pakistan are wasted in harvest. For an agrarian economy like Pakistan, wastage of fruits and vegetables in post-harvest periods could bereft the nation of the economic benefits. Almost 9.3 million of farming families earn their livelihood through fruits and vegetable produces. However, these families do not necessarily own agriculture land. Despite this, their three generations work on the same acres of land trying to make ends meet. Ali Baksh belongs to one of these families.

Our business, Mewa, stands to assist such farmers. Mewa is focused on helping farmers like Ali Baksh by limiting the fruits and vegetables wastage using the simple solution- solar dehydrators. Pakistan lacks behind the implementation of solar dehydrators technology, which has the potential to supersede the challenges faced by Ali. Given the success and potential fit with the conditions of our agriculture sector, we aim to implement Hohenheim solar dehydrator.

Firstly, Mewa will provide Ali with an incremental income by purchasing a share of his produce at market competitive rates. This will overcome the challenge of loss of income. Secondly, prolonging the shelf life will improve the salability of fruits and vegetables. Solar dehydrators will help in reducing the wastage by converting the fruits and vegetables to dehydrated form. Finally, through proper quality checks we will ensure the dehydrated products’ quality is up to the mark. Whereas the currently in place sun drying methods used by Ali and other farmers alike compromises the quality.

Beginning with crops indigenous to the region of Nawabshah, Sindh in Pakistan, we will process Dates, Chillis, Mangoes and Bananas. According to our estimate, we will earn a daily profit of US$4.5 per dehydrator and providing Ali and other farmers with a daily income of US$2.0.

Strength of our business model is dependent upon our partners. We have identified and consulted with our potential business partners. Pakistan Farmer’s Association will be our relationship partner helping us reach the farmers. Agility Logistics has widespread networks and will be transporting the produce to and from our facilities, SGS Pakistan will be our quality controllers ensuring that our products are up to consumption and export standards. The Sindh Enterprise Development Fund will be our consultants and advisers in this endeavor and as our customers we have identified food industries such as National Foods and Shan Foods as well as the Pakistan Army, all of whom accept SGS quality checks.

Our most vital stakeholders are the farmers from whom we will be buying our produce. We plan and hope to build lasting relationships with them, train members of farming communities to work at our facilities and have an impact on twelve million lives by 2025. We know that our idea that can truly make a difference, and I hope you can see it too.

The experience of participating in Greenpreneurs has been an incredible eye-opening experience for us. We have not only bonded better as business partners but gotten to see what a professional start up looks like. We have been able to delve deeper into the minds of our customers, break down our financials to the level that we can realistically gauge our costs and revenue streams and also see the over arching impact implementation of our idea can have.