I saw an interesting posting a while ago that gave a contact in Vietnam for
a small-scale rice drying/storage container and for a fruit drying
technology in Germany. I lost the posting. Can anyone help?
We have a 20-acre farm in central Thailand and we want to promote cash crop
alternatives among our neighbors to try to stop the growth of sugar cane
cultivation. People used to grow bananas for drying but the best banana
season coincides with the worst drying weather and I guess they got tired
of watching the bananas rot. If we can find a cheap way to dry bananas
while its raining every other day, it could tip the economics back in favor
of dry-land banana cultivation.
The banana variety in question requires no inputs of any kind; people
traditionally used scythes to keep down the brush around the banana trees.
We would like to find an intercrop planting that would eliminate this part
of the hard manual labor involved and improve soil fertility/biodiversity.
Since mangoes naturally ripen during the hottest dryest part of the year,
we are also interested in a good technology for drying mangoes. Trader
Joe's has the most delicious natural dried mangoes I've every tasted;
anyone know how it's done?
The other crop we are considering is neem (margosa). The leaves are eaten
as a vegetable (talk about bitter!), and the wood seems to be gaining favor
in Thailand as an insect resistant pole crop. I've heard of using the oild
from the seeds as an insecticide, machine oil, and soap/cosmetic additive,
and would like to learn more.