NARMADA GOES INTERNATIONAL
2 VOLUNTEERS OF NARMADA DELIVER A LECTURE AT A GLOBAL CONFERENCE IN UNIVERSITY OF ALGARVE, FARO, PORTUGAL
On 23rd of January 2018, two volunteers from Nimar Abhyudaya Rural Management And Development Association (NARMADA), presented their research paper on Solar Drying at the CONSOLFOOD 2018 global conference. The title of their research paper was,
‘INTRODUCTION OF SOLAR DRYING IN THE NIMAR REGION OF MP STATE OF INDIA BY NGO NARMADA, UNDER THE GUIDANCE OF BARC,GOI’.
Raghav and Shankar began their journey on 19th January 2018. They took their flight to Lisbon from Mumbai and reached Lisbon on the same day at 6pm. They then reached Faro, a city in the south of Portugal, at 1 am on 20th.
The purpose of their visit was to attend and present their research paper at the ‘CONSOLFOOD 2018’ conference. CONSOLFOOD is an international conference which is organized in the Institute of Superior Engineering, University of Algarve, Faro by Prof. Celestino Ruivo, who teaches heat transfer at the institute. The theme of this conference is Advances in Solar Thermal Energy. This conference had 80 participants from 28 countries from around the globe. 25 participants presented their work done on solar thermal energy (Solar cooking & solar drying) in a 30 minute time slot per presentation and the rest presented their posters. Presentations were both technical and social in nature.
The conference began on 22nd January 2018 and concluded on 24th January. Raghav and Shankar presented their paper on 23rd January. The presentation was well received and got positive feedbacks. A 5 minute slot for questions was also given. One question which was asked was, ‘What motivated you to get into Solar Drying?’ Shankar gave an apt reply to the question, ‘I used to see farmers throwing away their produce for many reasons. Solar drying could provide low cost value addition and preservation to the farmers. So I started to explore.’
We feel proud in letting you know that Shankar, aged 18, was the youngest participant to present a paper at the conference. His efforts were acknowledged and appreciated. A participant from USA, Jennifer Gasser, also honored Shankar by giving him 100 USD.
One thing about the conference which was very very special was that food for all participants was being prepared using only solar cookers, both box type and parabolic cookers. Raghav and Shankar prepared Indian Curry and rice on all three days for the participants and their talent in cooking was well appreciated. They also served a product of Nimar Abhyudaya, ‘PAVITRA HERBAL TEA’, to the participants on day 1. The tea was prepared on a parabolic solar cooker and it got a warm reception. Their whole lot was sold out in just 3 hours.
This conference proved to be a great learning experience for both the volunteers. They had interactions with all participants and got to know about efforts being made in Solar Thermal Energy throughout the globe. This conference was covered by Radio Television Portugal (RTP), which is a national broadcast channel in Portugal. Raghav and Shankar appeared for a bit in the news clipping.
NARMADA had collaboration with BHABHA ATOMIC RESEARCH CENTRE (BARC), MUMBAI, in April 2017. After that we fabricated 6 Foldable Solar Dryers. These dryers can be used to dehydrate many agricultural produces like tomatoes, chilies, lemongrass, okra etc. The role of BARC in Raghav and Shankar reaching the conference has been instrumental. Their guidance and timely inputs ensured success of the presentation. Their presentation was a report right from the ground and explored problems faced while promoting these technologies in the rural areas. They also gave some solutions.
India is a country which receives a good amount if solar radiation throughout the year. India’s prospects in Solar Thermal Energy are great, if efforts are made in the right direction. Solar drying needs to be promoted in the rural areas, as it provides chemical free preservation at low cost. Drying in solar dryers helps retaining maximum nutrition of the produce and also color and taste are retained.
NARMADA is making efforts to make this technology more prevalent and farmer friendly. We have developed products using the dryers and are now preparing to market them.
Some photographs from the conference.