10 July 2018, Bangar el Sokor, Nubaria, Egypt - Workers spreading sliced tomatoes for sun drying prior to marketing, part of the FAO project: Food Loss and Waste Reduction and Value Chain Development for Food Security in Egypt. Based on recommended solutions from baseline studies, market assessments and tomato loss analysis in Egypt, the project identified sun-dried tomatoes (SDT) as a simple and effective method to reduce loss and waste in tomatoes and to create local value addition in the agribusiness sector while exploring new marketing channels for tomato growers. The SDT unit is managed by the Marketing Cooperative for Fruits and Vegetables, in collaboration with local Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation (MALR) authorities and FAO.
In addition to the advantage of reducing tomato losses in Nubaria, sun drying tomatoes helps control over production of tomatoes and reduce tomato price fluctuations by transforming tomatoes into a product that can be stored for up to two years. The SDT unit has helped create job opportunities especially for youth and women; reduce the cost of transportation; and gain experience in drying thus allowing the Cooperative to expand the business into similar crops such as pepper and eggplants. Finally, it helped open new markets for the cooperatives through the private sector who export the SDTs to European markets.
Photo credit must be given: ©FAO/Heba Khamis. Editorial use only. Copyright ©FAO.