Improving Moringa Post-Harvest Processing in Zambia

photo of man cutting moringa leaves

Improving Moringa Post-Harvest Processing in Zambia

Located in Lusaka, Jesuit Development Farm (JDF) grows various organic vegetables like lettuce, onions, garlic and herbs such as moringa. Moringa, a plant rich in antioxidants and known for its purported medicinal properties, can be an excellent source of essential vitamins and minerals. To meet the increased demand for the plant, JDF looked to Partners in Food Solutions for help with increasing their capacity and identifying inefficiencies in their solar tunnel drying system. “In our local community, we do not always have access to experts with the experience PFS volunteers have,” said Father Tadeusz, managing director of JDF. “The support of PFS and its volunteers helps us avoid many problems.”

Will Suhring, a process engineer at Hershey with experience in developing, installing and activating new equipment and processing systems, offered to help JDF and share his knowledge in this area. “One of my favorite aspects of PFS is that it connects creative, entrepreneurial people from all across the world to collaborate on projects which are of benefit to everyone involved,” said Will. “I enjoy the creative problem solving aspect of the project due to working under different constraints than projects in my corporate role. It’s also great knowing that successful projects bring jobs, better food security, and many other benefits to the clients and their communities.”

After reviewing feedback from JDF about what they liked and didn’t like about their existing drying system, Will and the project team came up with several modifications that would improve their efficiency. “We suggested adding vents at each end of the tunnel to encourage air flow and remove moisture because it would be a meaningful improvement to their drying process and fit within their local materials and building constraints. We also suggested that they include plenty of room for handwashing stations and captive shoe storage, along with tables to hold wash basins at a comfortable height, because that would improve food safety and quality, and make the operation more comfortable and efficient for the workers.”

JDF plans to utilize the volunteer’s recommendations to improve their current solar tunnel drying system and to help construct their new dryer. “I really enjoy our interactions with PFS volunteers,” said Fr. Tadeusz. “During the process of developing a new solar tunnel model I learned more about food safety, efficient drying processes and how to better utilize the available space. I am grateful for everyone involved in this project and for their commitment and support of my efforts.”

General Mills
General Mills, the founding member of Partners in Food Solutions, is one of the world’s leading food companies, operating in more than 100 countries and headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Cargill
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DSM
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