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We will make small-scale farming more productive and profitable by establishing a one-stop shop where producers can access resources that are critical to increase their production capacity and have an outlet to sell some of their harvested produce. Most importantly, we will be pivotal in lifting impoverished communities to a higher standard of living and be a model of success for alleviating poverty in other developing nations. Through this pioneer program among universities, Northeastern University in Boston, MA, in collaboration with overseas counterparts, seeks to create a model for academic-based poverty alleviation on a global basis.
Jola Venture’s Solar-POD (SolPOD) technology is an effective, low-cost solution to food spoilage that is very common among most developing nations. Using solar energy to dehydrate fruits, vegetables, grains, and meats, the SolPOD extends the shelf lives of perishable food items, giving its users a simple and cost effective means of food preservation. A unique technical feature of the design is the creation of a natural flow of air over food items in a central chamber. Alternative processes bring perishable food items to cooking temperatures, and traditional methods employ harmful smoke and necessitate at least five weeks of exposure to smoke or sunlight. The SolPOD effectively and efficiently reduces drying time from 840hours to mere 6 hours. With no electrical parts involved in its design, the SolPOD is very inexpensive, and easy to maintain and repair.
In the rural areas of Cameroon, where some 17 million out of the 20million people depend on agricultural income for their livelihood, affordability of inputs like fertilizer and returns is based on market conditions and greatly influences the yield of the variety of more than 20 products that are cultivated. Estimates suggest a 50 – 80 percent loss between harvest and consumption due to a lack of modern farming infrastructure. And a preliminary calculation, extrapolated from the observed and demonstrated need of a sharecropper farmer suggest that in the primary market areas, the potential demand for a low cost solution to food spoilage device could stand at 4.2 million assuming one for every four farmers. With Jola Venture, a small scale farmer will have a 250% profit increase within the first year of operations