Post-harvest quality losses are a major struggle for Kenyan farmers (Dolan, Humphrey, Dolan, & Humphrey, 2000; Wesonga, Atela, Goosen, & Koomen, 2018). The following measures support quality conservation after harvest.
Zero-energy cooling chamber
A cooling chamber can lengthen sufficient crop quality after harvest by two weeks. This zero-energy cooling chamber is a low-tech and low-cost method to achieve this. A whole in the soil is excavated (by hand), and its walls are lined with bricks and mortar. Keeping the bricks wet is the only maintenance that is needed to keep the technology running. It uses evaporation to cool the inner space, that can be used as storage space. (AgriProFocus and Verbos Business Development, 2018)
Charcoal cold room
Another cooling room that has been introduced on demonstration plots is a charcoal cooling room. The cooling room has walls made out of charcoal. These walls are kept wet throughout the day (sometimes using a simple drip irrigation system in the gutter of the room). Evaporation of the water from the walls keeps the room colder and moister, conserving crop quality. (AgriProFocus and Verbos Business Development, 2018)
Solar dryerThis measure is not aiming to preserve fresh crop quality, but to add value to the product before it is sold on the market. By processing the crop to a high value product directly after yield, post-harvest losses will be prevented. The market for dried crops and fruits might not be large enough to serve the potential supply (after potential large scale adoption of the technology) yet. (AgriProFocus and Verbos Business Development, 2018)
Post-harvest losses can be the result of hampered physical market access after extreme rainfall. To avoid damage to infrastructure, proper drainage is key. Runoff water harvesting (measure 2 on water retention page) could serve this objective, retaining water for irrigation purposes at the same time.