Solar crop dryer can revolutionise nangai production: Longwah | Vanuatu Daily Post

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A solar crop dryer is the answer to high costs of nangai (canarium indicum) transportation, heavy nut volume, and the deterioration of the nut quality within 24 hours after falling from trees, says long time South Pacific nut entrepreneur, Charlot Longwah. The next season of nangai starts from September to December and Mr Longwah revealed just last month Kava Store embarked and completed a research on how the use of a solar food dryer can rewrite the production of nangai in the Pacific, the first in the Pacific to obtain a solar semi dry product to value add for domestic market and the potential to gradually value-add from Vt40 per kilo to Vt1,000 a kilo to Vt3,000 and Vt6,000 per kilo for Japanese, Australia and New Caledonia customers.

“It will be a bottom up approach or under the nangai tree or plantation,” he said. “The existing villages in Vanuatu have over 200 sites from 100 to over 1,000 nangae trees, existing mostly in the remote areas. “By minimising oxidation the first 24 hours after the nut falls from the tree to reduce moving the volume in Nuts In Shells(NIS) with solar food dryer contributed to less 90% of total weight, contributing 75% reducing electricity costs to the factory,90% less costs of air/sea freight and land transportation. “Farmers end up with a super semi product,” Longwah said. But he pointed out farmers need extensive training by cracking nuts, removal from the testa with blanched kernel and directly placing it in solar food dryer to dry.

“This results in a perfect nut without oxidation and rancid. It is much easier to transport a solar food dryer under the trees during the nangai nut season than moving a heavy volume NIS to villages. “Due to unprofitable high costs of transportation, heavy nut volume the most delicate nuts to work and difficulty deteriorated in 24 hours after falling from trees, after 24 hours an oxidation forms inside NIS preventing value added in a packaging which will get rancid after three weeks and non exportable products.”

The solar food dryer consist of two small DC powered fans run by solar module and solar thermal energy to heat the air inside dryer and no battery. According to Longwah the dryer can be used to dry up to 100 different products and is faster than the normal process of direct sun dry. The solar food dryer could provide for thousands, he said, on Tanna drying chili and abundant fruits in season on Santo and Malekula tons of tamarind drying and value added nangai nuts exclusively to Efate islands this year and years after that to other islands. He said remote communities have limited access to resources which would allow them to preserve and food security or local produce in order to sell to the wider community , able proper training a family and communities a return not less than Vt50,000 per week on nangae, tamarind, dry chili, salted fish, prawns, the list goes on.

The Vanuatu tree species offer a huge range of alternative product that holds the potential to enlarge the food range in the world. In Vanuatu the economic impacts the market for processed nangae nut, is at present modest compared with kava, copra, cocoa, coffee and other agricultural crops and Kava Store’s Longwah has high hopes for this product. “Believe me, nangai nut in the next 10 years will be the most valuable agricultural crop in all Melanesia,” he said. “This will increase the above income to farmers and the province by tenfold. The tree nuts offer the best horticultural prospect over any crop in Vanuatu and Melanesia.”

The potential marketable nangai nut trees in the country now comprises of more than half million trees, 50% growing wild, estimated of couple hundred thousand tons of nangae in shells and 90% are wastages every year. Growers are mainly in all rural areas and all islands with the largest concentration from South West Bay to point south Doucere, Malekula and east to northwest of Malekula and in Santo south to east Santo.

Longwah said the best nangai nuts come from Maewo and South West Bay, Malekula. And there is immense constraint to neutralise in good condition of the nuts and handling plus tremendous costs from the islands. Kava Store has all scientific analytic nutritional information, rich in carbohydrate, energy, potassium fiber, omega 6, omega 3 and important vitamins. Nangai is the only soft nut in the world and is delicious. Regular consumption of the fruit bulb and nut regularly helps prevent cancer and risk of age related muscular degeneration.

Kava store produces first grade value added nuts exclusively sells Efate nuts at Kava store, Au Bon Marche Nambatu and overseas clients with fresh produce and long shelf life. Interested queries can be directed to: kava.store@vanuatu.com.vu , southpacificnut@vanuatu.com.vu, or call (678)22757 and 26181 in Port Vila, Vanuatu.

Solar crop dryer can revolutionise nangai production: Longwah | Vanuatu Daily Post

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