After a week a crazy week in Hanoi, we decided with Loïc to visit the Vietnamese countryside. We were not disappointed, beautiful landscapes, rice fields as far as the eye can see, lost pagodas in the middle of nature… but something really surprised us. People put food directly on the sidewalk in front of their door to dry it. You have to avoid it when you walk! The first question was: why people dry food?
Thankfully, a few days after, we met Alison. Alison is the project manager of An Tiem. She explained to us that dry food is the best way to preserve food like seafood, vegetables, fruits, tea leaf…. She confirmed that drying food in the street is not good. With the hot weather, the pollution and the animals, bacterium grow easily. When it rains (and it rains really often in August in Vietnam), the food is not protected.
An Tiem provides solar dryers to farmers. The solar dryer is a box made with wood, metal, plastic and a small ventilation system supplied by a solar panel. The temperature within the solar dryer can be very high and that makes the system more efficient than drying the food in the street. It is also safer because the products are protected from pollution and animals. It is also a good way to reduce waste: farmers can dry unsold products and sell it a few weeks after.
Alison and her team experiment the solution in Central Vietnam. An Tiem collects the data to know more about the performance and the limits of the solar dryer. The team works on the adoption of the solar dryer by farmers communities.