Various agricultural processes require the drying of seeds and other products to survive, but the rains and changes in the climate have put hundreds of families in check. To avoid the millionaire losses that occur each year, the Technological Institute of Costa Rica (TEC) recently installed a series of dryers based on clean energy for use by farmers and ranchers.
Initially, you work with solar panels, but you can also use alternative sources such as water or hot air. The project started with the TEC headquarters in the North Zone.
Cocoa harvest after a hurricane
The need for the ovens arose with the impact of Hurricane Nate, in 2017. Since then, there are 13 facilities that provide social service to producers.
One of the most benefited activities has been cocoa, where the drying of the seeds went from 22 to 6 days. This allows more efficiency and productivity in businesses in the area.
“Here in Guatuso, the first solar dryer for cocoa was installed, benefiting many families. Here, it is very humid and we have problems with the drying of our, but this technology came to benefit for the cocoa not to have more problems of humidity or losses that exceeded 500 or 700 kilos in a single harvest”, affirmed María Elizondo, a small businesswoman from Sibaeli chocolates.
The system has also impacted the milk industry, achieving a better preservation process. “We have managed to pasteurize milk with solar energy, sterilize equipment and dry different types of products. For example, we have dried cocoa, yucca, turmeric, squash, pineapple, among others”, explained Tomás Guzmán, project director.