Common to almost all agricultural regions of developing countries, seasonal poverty, often referred to as the lean or hunger season, is the precarious period between planting and harvesting when incomes plummet and food becomes scarce.
Though it is difficult to grasp the full scale of impact, it is estimated that seasonal poverty affects somewhere between 300 million to 1 billion of the world’s rural poor. And yet, despite being one of the biggest obstacles to rural development and the reduction of global poverty, the issue has remained largely under the radar in many international development circles.
In Uganda, over 75% of agricultural labor is performed by women, and yet less than 7% of women own land.
Women are the backbone of small-scale agricultural and the key providers of food for their families. It is therefore critical that women play an essential role in the development and integration of improved food preservation and storage practices in agricultural communities around the world.
Preserve International empowers women in Yumbe, Uganda by tailoring curriculum for best agronomic practices and post harvest handling to the unique needs of women living in both the BidiBidi Refugee Settlement and the surrounding host communities.
Preserve International is partnering with Ugandan-based company Sparky Enterprises to provide farmers with the Sparky Dryer, a food dehydrator which runs on organic waste to dry fruits and vegetables quickly, making them last for months instead of days.
Preserve International works with farmers, schools and other on-the-ground organizations to improve grain storage methods for a healthier, longer lasting harvest.
Preserve International utilizes both water bath and pressure canning techniques to educate farmers on how to preserve crops for both family consumption and sale in local markets, with an ultimate goal of increasing crop yields and profit.
Preserve International is thrilled to be partnering with Sparky Social Enterprises to provide small scale farmers in Northern Uganda with access to the Sparky Dryer.
Dreamed up by Ugandan engineer and inventor Lawrence Okettayot, the Sparky Dryer is a food dehydrator that runs on biofuel from a farmer’s garden and burns with zero carbon emissions. It is helping to address one of the biggest concerns in Ugandan agricultural communities of how to prevent food spoilage after the harvest. All Sparky Dryers are manufactured by Lawrence and his team in Kampala, Uganda and are shipped up to our Yumbe operations by bus.
In Lawrence’s own words, the goal of the Sparky Dryer is to help people “preserve today to feed tomorrow”.