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Provides solar powered fruit driers in Kyrgyzstan for communities, improving livelihoods.



In Kyrgyzstan, farming provides a large portion of household incomes, especially in rural areas. In fact, it is often the only opportunity for families to earn money. However, „value added“ processing opportunities are not possible, and farmers end up selling raw fruits and vegetables over a short season each year when produce is fresh, and other middlemen make a larger share of the profits through processing.

Lack of opportunities, especially for young people, leads to many social issues such as outward migration, splitting up families and generally hindering development.

The project

This project will provide community-owned and operated solar fruit driers which would provide communities, especially young people, to generate a livelihood locally.

The funds raised will cover costs for 2 driers, ancillary equipment such as tables, cutting equipment and vacuum packers, as well as provide training. It is expected that the presence of such driers in clusters will also serve to help develop related business growth in the agricultural value chain through sales / marketing activities.

Local communities will operate the driers, offering opportunities to generate income from value added fruit and vegetable production, or produce products for home use allowing consumption of produce year round. A rental type system will be in place, whereby individuals or groups a small fee per quantity of fruit which is used for maintenance purposes.

The project is non profit for the organizers.

The technology

Designed by the Swiss firm using simple technologies, the driers are constructed in 40 foot shipping containers. If only partial funding is received, smaller 20′ containers can be used. The sun heats air in large glass ramps at the base of the container, and is pulled through the driers using fans, operated by solar panels. As the only mechanical parts are three small fans, the driers are extremely durable and require little maintenance.

Driers can be used to dry a wide range of products, all found in abundance, such as apples, apricots, pears, tomatoes, berries and even meat.

Project controls

This project will be conducted with a local NGO. We already have specific experience with similar projects already in Kyrgyzstan, with 6 existing driers in place already. We have a supplier to build the driers, as well as an effective and proven training program.

Driers are provided to the local community, either the local municipality, or an official community organization, and not to individuals. This will ensure that the entire community provides oversight on the project and does not favor an individual.

Training will be provided to ensure that communities not only operate the driers properly, but to ensure consistency of product, food safety and marketing, as well as basic repair. Training will also cover business issues, to ensure funds are available for ongoing sustainability of the project.

Expected outcomes

This project, implemented in 2 villages, has a number of outcomes:

  1. Provision of fruit driers in 2 rural communities
  2. Training completed for project participants
  3. Reduction in poverty levels in local communities through increased income generation
  4. Reduced food insecurity through ability to store fruits longer at the household level
  5. Improved agro-business skills and job creation

Experienced team

The project team have already delivered 6 such driers in the Issyk-Kul region of Kyrgyzstan. This experience is important because most issues have already been identified and fixed in earlier rounds of the project, and the training courses have been focused based on the feedback of previous participants to cover the most important or critical aspects.


Sustainability of the project is key, and as such a number of considerations are built into the project:

  1. Driers are provided to community organisations that must accept responsibility for ongoing maintenance and functioning of the driers
  2. Training will include business aspects, ensuring funds are put into a maintenance pool for ongoing maintenance
  3.  Ongoing support and monitoring through partnership with an established and experienced NGO
The budget for this project breaks down to cover costs of the driers, equipment, delivery and training. Driers will be operated by local communities, who will maintain and operate with ongoing support.
  • 2 solar powered driers (complete): $24,000
  • Training: $5,000
  • Equipment (tables, cutters, vacuum packagers, etc): $2,200
  • Delivery charges to community: $2,000
Should the project not raise all requested funds, flexibility exists to place only one 40 foot drier, 2 twenty foot or some other combination. If more funds are raised then needed, we will expand to purchase additional driers. All donations are appreciated and will be used towards the Project.


August 18, 2015

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