What you need to know:
- The system unveiled by GIZ through the African Women Agribusiness Network (AWAN) preserves the vegetables and fruits for at least one week but the market venders usually have their produce in there for at least two days.
As realities of post-harvest challenges continue to haunt farmers across the country, a group of female market vendors in Kampala have been supported to ensure their fresh fruits and vegetables are preserved.
Planted at Ntinda Strecher market with over 80 percent women in the vegetable and fruit section, the solar system with capacity of three tonnes cools at 12 degrees.
The system unveiled by GIZ through the African Women Agribusiness Network (AWAN) preserves the vegetables and fruits for at least one week but the market venders usually have their produce in there for at least two days.
According to Geraldine Kyomuhangi, a market vendor at Ntinda new market, the system has so far been effective.
She said her clients prefer fresh vegetables and fruits. Before the cooling system was put in place, she said a lot of her merchandise would be wasted.
“We are happy for bringing us the fridge. I trust our merchandise will not go bad because we can re-stalk overnight. We shall now have fresh water melons, pineapples, broccoli, among others,” she said.
However, she said the cooler is relatively smaller and asked that the government provides a bigger one.
“Women dealing in fruits are so many and that fridge is small. Let the government bring for us a bigger one,” she said.
The AWAN chairperson, Joyce Atuhaire said they were inspired to build the system after conducting a baseline in different markets in Kampala in which they found out that losses happen majorly at the market level and they are at 30 percent.
Akilis karungi, an official from GIZ, said this kind of technology should be stretched to areas with no high grid cooling systems. This, he said will empower more women.