A new solar tent fish dryer designed by the University of Malawi’s (Unima) Chancellor College, which reduces the number of fish that are spoiled during the drying process, is being tested by Lake Malawi Fish Processors.
Project officer Levison Chiwaula said in an interview last week they are working with Unima, Department of Fisheries and World Fish Centre to improve fish processing over a 30-month period.
“The new design of solar tent fish dryer has several advantages compared to traditional drying ventilation panels, running along the roof of the tent and the bottom of the walls which improves the drying performance, meaning that fish can be dried in half the time needed for open air drying and drying can also continue during rainy conditions,” he said.
Chiwaula explained that the new innovation has come to improve the processing of fish for the betterment and survival of ordinary Malawians.
He said the research team is now making final improvements to the design of the solar tent, which will be introduced to cooperatives in Mangochi (Malembo and Cape Maclear) and Salima (Lifuwu and Chikombe).
Chiwaula said the new tents allow fish processers to produce top quality dried fish that can be sold in supermarkets at higher prices.
He, therefore, said one important aim of the research project is to develop a business model that makes the tents affordable and profitable for processors and other entrepreneurs.