Thanks to Czech scientists, farmers in Cambodia have mango dryers

4. 1. 2022 -

Researchers from Mendel University in Brno are helping to start sustainable mango production in the Kampong Speu area of Cambodia. Thanks to Czech know-how, local producers have started producing solar fruit dryers. So far, much of the mango crop has been wasted because the locals have not been able to process it. Farmers are now better able to cope with overproduction.

Mango is the second most cultivated fruit in Cambodia, just behind the bananas. But the problem is that it spoils quickly. "In addition, the harvest season is relatively short. Therefore, the locals must either sell it below cost relatively soon or let it rot. So drying this fruit will help them a lot. For them, it means a more stable supply both for their consumption and for sale," said Petr Němec from the Institute of Forest Botany, Dendrology and Geobiocoenology, Faculty of Forestry and Wood Technology at MENDELU.

Czech scientists have already trained farmers in mango processing, packaging, and also marketing the sale of fruit on the local and foreign markets. Cambodia is a major producer of this commodity and most of the country is suitable for its cultivation. This Asian country is also one of the 5 largest mango producers worldwide. Mango exports have grown significantly in recent years, currently hovering around 200,000 tons per year.

"The problem is the fact that the vast majority of exports are in the form of fresh mango, ie without added value. Then, for example, Cambodian mangoes are sold cheaply to neighboring Vietnam, where this is further processed into various products that are already sold at higher prices. The added value does not remain in Cambodia, but another country," said Němec.

One of the goals of the United Nations-funded project was to bring farmers closer to the world of national and international trade. Thus, they underwent training, during which, among other things, they gained knowledge about export and its requirements. Partner Czech company Holistic Solutions s.r.o. offered them cooperation as a customer.

Experts from the Czech Republic helped start the production of dryers. The technology is completely new and innovative for the locals. Three solar dryers were handed over to three local farming communities. "Mechanization will bring them higher financial returns from their own harvest and can also support food self-sufficiency," Němec added.

Contact for more information: Ing. Petr Němec, Ph.D., Department of Forest Botany, Dendrology and Geobiocoenology FFWT MENDELU, petr.nemec@mendelu.cz, phone.: 545 134 064.

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