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chimanimani, Zimbabwechinhoyi, Zimbabwe
Year Founded:
Organization type: 
Project Stage:
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Orange farmers in Rusitu Valley have been reported to be losing more than 30% of their produce. The project goal is to determine causes of post-harvest losses within the orange value-chain and develop sustainable strategies to enhance post-harvest quality and storability of oranges in Rusitu Valley.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Inadequate orange storage and cold chain management facilities in Rusitu Valley, coupled with poor post-harvest technologies, poor African fruit fly control, and lack of access to markets have caused exceptionally high post-harvest losses, estimated to be greater than 30%. Oranges are perishable and they tend to ripen almost at once causing seasonal gluts; resulting in post-harvest management challenges when in season

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

A business pre-investment study will be conducted to identify and characterize the post-harvest losses in the Rusitu Valley. We propose to construct low cost evaporative coolers for temporary storage of orange fruits. The coolers will be constructed using locally available cement, charcoal and timber. At each cooler provision for mass bucket trapping of fruit flies will be designed to reduce fruit fly population and fruit damage. We propose to construct four demonstration evaporative coolers in each of the four oranges producing wards and open one post-harvest training center in Rusitu Valley. The farmers will then be trained on appropriate post-harvest management of orange fruits (handling practices, value addition, construction of evaporative coolers and storage management). Farmers will also be trained and helped on sustainable fruit-fly control measures which include bucket trapping using methyl egunol + malathion baits and proper disposal of fruit drop.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

The construction of evaporative coolers will help to reduce post-harvest losses through temperature and respiration management at the primary stage (reduction of field heat soon after harvest). A study on pre-cooling systems for smallholder producers by Kitinoja and Thompson (2010) revealed that cold chain management reduces respiration rate, extends shelf-life, and protects produce quality, while reducing postharvest losses by decreasing the rates of water loss and decay. The important technical aspect is that cooling involves heat transfer and is usually done before processing, or storage to enhance produce shelf-life.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

To date appropriate cold chain management has reduced post-harvest losses to between 2 - 12 % in the developed countries especially the United States of America. The project is expected to reduce the reported 30 % post-harvest losses to be less than 15 % in the long run. The project will construct four evaporative cooler in each of the producing wards in Rusitu Valley and one post-harvest management center at Kopa Business Center in Rusitu Valley. At this center at-least 20 post-harvest extension trainers will be employed to manage and facilitate orange fruit post-harvest technology transfer amongst academics, policy makers, and farmers. We intent to train more than 500 local farmers on appropriate post-harvest and pest (especially fruit fly) management each year. With all this capacity, we expect that the improved orange production will play a roll to availability of nutrients in the food-value chain in Zimbabwe.

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

A US$24 374 grant application was made, to cover the pre-investment study and design of appropriate evaporative coolers. This grant was requested from the Chinhoyi University of Technology and is under consideration. We also plan to continue applying for competitive grants to complement the financial resources from Chinhoyi University of Technology. We plan to charge training fees starting in 2015 so that the idea is self sustainable by 2016.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

In Tanzania a post-harvest training center is being established and is only covering training farmers from central and east Africa only. At this center the farmers are expected to learn about fruit and vegetable post-harvest handling issues only. Our proposed project is focusing on orange fruits post harvest management and the construction of storage facilities for the farmers in Rusitu Valley. Farmers from other surrounding areas are expected to be trained on post harvest handling and construction of appropriate cold chain management.

Founding Story

The idea started when the founder was studying Bachelor of Technology (HONS) Post-harvest Technology in 2007. The founder was attached by University of Zimbabwe - Development Technology Center as an attachee research assistant for Chimanimani Fruit - Value Addition project in Rusitu Valley. The founder realised that Rusitu Valley farmers are losing most of their orange fruits at the farm stage. Thus value addition project was threatened. In 2011, the founder carried out a survey to determine the orange production situation in the Valley after the decade of Zimbabwe's economic downturn. It was after this study when it was revealed that orange production still got potential in the Valley since it is still the livelihood source for farmers.
About You
chinhoyi university of technology
About You
First Name

stephen tawanda

Last Name


About Your Organization
Organization Name

chinhoyi university of technology

Organization Country

, MW, chinhoyi

Country where this project is creating social impact

, ML, chimanimani

Has the organization received awards or honors? Please tell us about them
Nutrients For All
Where do you ensure the availability of nutrients?

Healthy environments., Nutrient-rich farming, Full nourishment foods, Human wellness and vitality.

If you had greater capacity, which additional sectors would you like your solution to target - either through expansion, partnership, or thought exchange?

Healthy environments, Nutrient-rich farming, Full nourishment foods, Human wellness and vitality.

How specifically would this added capacity help you improve the quality, efficiency, or sustainability of your existing product or service?

A healthy environment in the Valley will enhance sustainable orange fruit production (SMART farming practices) that is complimented with more of organic and permaculture farming techniques. This healthy farming situation is expected to improve the livelihood, food, and nutrition security of local farmers in Rusitu Valley, Zimbabwe. The added capacity support a climate friendly farming practices. The idea is expected to reduce the reported losses to below 15 % and re-engineer information dissemination to farmers on how to produce quality oranges. We expect to regionally export quality oranges.