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The student in Uganda who is trying to solve the food waste crisis


Much of what's sold in markets in Uganda is wasted because farmers cannot store the food. So every day they have to return home and pick fresh fruit and vegetables to sell the next day. During the dry season very little grows there so many citizens go hungry. Uganda's government admits it has a massive food waste problem, but has not yet found solutions. Food wasted every year in the continent could feed up to 300 million people, according to the United Nations. In just Uganda alone, up to 40% of fruit and vegetables end up being discarded each day. 

But Lawrence, a 23-year old engineering student from Kitgum, Uganda, hopes that his new invention, “the Sparky Dryer”, will change everything for the better. The device he has created, is a dehydrator running on garden waste that dries fruit and vegetables quickly, making them last for months instead of days. It looks like a small fridge and uses organic waste instead of electricity, to which few farmers in Uganda and elsewhere in Africa have regular access. 

Each unit can dehydrate 10kg of mangoes in just two hours. It has a small chamber where a gas fire is fixed which heats up a separate drying chamber above where the sliced produce is stacked in shelves. It also has a catalytic converter which prevents harmful gases from being released during the drying process. Lawrence is extremely optimistic about the future and he wants to scale up his invention to reach different parts of the world that also struggle with the food waste crisis. 

Source: BBC News 14th august 2018

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