Many coastal regions in the world needs a low cost and hygienic method to process fish for long term storage. India is blessed with 8041 km long coastline and an exploitable marine fish reserve of 4.57 million tons in country’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). Even though technological leaps have enhanced the fish production, due to the perishable nature of fish, an estimated 21 % of the harvest is lost due to lack of post harvest processing. This results in fishermen losing considerable portion of their profit apart from the loss of considerable nutritional food to the common man. Fish is a highly perishable food product and can be stored for long time only by drying. But the problem affecting the quality of the dried fish is the unhygienic way in which fish is prepared and dried. The open beach drying, results in insects laying egg inside the fish, that renders the product non-consumable
This unhygienic drying cuts through the investment of the fishermen resulting in the loss of his savings that drives him to absolute poverty. A lot of conventional dryers using fossil fuels have been invented and their rate of percolation into fishermen is abysmally low Drying using mechanical drying requires recurring cost of conventional fuel. Considering the cost of the fish this cost is more than what a fisherman could afford. One way to offset this problem is by opting for solar drying. Unique Project combining human resources from coastal region with a cleaner technology so that a hygienic healthy food could be offered for consumption to a large mass with employments creation. Livelihood support for fishing community
To address small fisherman who couldn’t afford building and electricity supply, PEN has designed fully solar dependent dryers for fish. The unit has a solar collector for hot air production. A solar photovoltaic panel to run DC fans to blow hot air into the dryer. A multiple trays holding dryer with chimney for processing the product. Different capacity small dryers are being used. The standard unit is 50 Kg/batch with solar collector of are a 5.75 m2 , which yields good quality products leading to value addition to the fish.
UNDP Orissa, India.
Several Government agencies and NGOs in India.