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Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Getting to the market
Article Type: Food facts From: Nutrition & Food Science, Volume 41, Issue 3
For many farmers, an abundant harvest is only the first step towards feeding their families and earning an income. Vegetables ripening in the field – or even harvested and stored nearby – are still a long way from the market where they can be sold for a profit. One farmer in Sudan’s Kebkabyia province, Abdall Omer Saeedo, has to travel 10 kilometers twice a week to the nearest market to sell his vegetables and green fodder. Without a cart, truck or other means of transporting a large amount of goods efficiently, he could not make enough money to cover his production and packing costs, let alone the cost of seeds for the next season, education for his children and other household needs. And after making it to market with his ten sacks and five bags of produce on the back of his donkey, he was still at risk for loss if he was not able to sell it all. Instead of dealing with the hassle of trying to pack it back home again, he would throw away whatever was not sold.
Saeedo sought the help of Practical Action, a development non-profit that uses technology to help people gain access to basic services like clean water and sanitation in order to improve food production and incomes (see Beating the Heat to Reduce Post-harvest Waste). Working with local metal workers, the organization designed a donkey cart for him. Now, Saeedo is not only able to cart his produce to market twice a week, he can also easily bring back whatever he is unable to sell. His income has increased along with the quality and quantity of his product, which is no longer lost or destroyed by travel time and conditions.