micro-enterprise responds to malnutrition
VitaGoat system, left to right: steam boiler,
cooker with press, cycle grinder
By Frank Daller,Vice-President of Malnutrition Matters.
Looking beyond short term feeding solutions, Malnutrition Matters is a non-profit organisation dedicated to providing sustainable, affordable and locally available food technology solutions for malnutrition. Staff have been involved in food technology projects in over 30 countries, although the emphasis has been in the regions of the Former Soviet Union, in Africa and in India. Most recently, Malnutrition Matters has developed a completely non-electric, versatile food processing system called VitaGoat improving upon previous systems (SoyCow and VitaCow) which both require a reliable supply of electricity.
The VitaGoat system comprises of a pressurecooking vessel, a bicycle-powered grinding system, an energy-efficient steam generator and a mechanical press. The system can process soybeans into soya-milk and derivatives, as well as fruits, vegetables and cereals into aqueous solutions or juices, soups, purees, and gruels. There is no food wastage with the processing. The 'Okara' residue from the soya processing is available for breads, as additions to other foods, or can be used as animal feed. Using only its bicycle grinder, the VitaGoat can also grind dry cereals and grains to produce flour, and meal, and process nuts into pastes or 'butter' such as peanut butter. It can also grind roasted coffee.
The VitaGoat can be used in a number of settings including humanitarian projects, social institutions (hospitals, schools, etc) and sustainable micro-enterprises. The technology also facilitates the development of projects for processing and preserving foods and can for example be useful in situations of seasonal 'glut' where waste can occur due to lack of local markets or processing options, e.g. mangos and tomatoes.
Launching in October, the projected local selling price should be under US$2,000 when technology-transfers are completed. Thereafter, construction, training and parts for the systems will be provided locally. The system will at first undergo a six-month pilot programme test in partnership with Africare in Guinea, Chad and Mozambique. After this, it is intended to transfer responsibilities for the VitaGoat to manufacturers in two or more African locations. Similar initiatives are planned for other regions, including Latin America, and South and South-East Asia, when appropriate sponsors and NGO partners are identified.
For further information, contact: Malnutrition Matters, 498 Rivershore Cres, Ottawa, ON, CanadaK1J 7Y7,
tel: 1 613 446 0205,
fax: 1 613 446 2072.
See online at http://www.malnutrition.org
Taken from Field Exchange Issue 20, November 2003