This pilot project focused on the processing of fruit and vegetable chips with the use of Vacuum Oil-bath Dehydration Technology (VODT). The NJICUWP has since the late 1990s undertaken VODT development and successfully designed the new VODT equipment offering greater flexibility whilst costing approximately a quarter of the cost of imported equipment. The project achieved the expected results.
- A knowledge Centre (KC) was established within the NJICUWP who conducted the research on VODT processing technology for more than 10 varieties of fruits and vegetables including durian; banana; mango; papaya; mushroom and taro. Samples were produced and detailed production processes and parameters for production and training requirements were recorded.
- NJICUWP further carried out extensive R&D resulting in third-generation VODT equipment which was subsequently manufactured by Jinan Newstar Machine Co., Ltd. The prototype has been fine-tuned and will be produced for further dissemination. The equipment is believe to improve work efficiency; reduce energy consumption; decrease production cost; raise production efficiency; and increase the overall economic benefit.
- The VODT production line was established and operational in 2011 and is currently located in a processing facility co-owned by the farmers' cooperation of Yikan Xuan papaya which was incorporated as part of this project.
- A technological training system was also put into place and 5 cooperatives specialized in fruit and vegetables obtained technical support. The farmers of the cooperatives were trained on planting according to the GAP standards, especially with regard to the use of pesticides and fertilizers. The training achieved good results including the improved cultivation levels of farmers and the increased yield and quality of Xuan papaya and mushroom.
- The project resulted in improved sales of Fruit and Vegetable Chips through the use of new marketing approaches; shortened manufacturing periods; and by significantly developing the market. Good economic benefits have been observed with achieved sales volume of up to USD 815,000 and profits of approximately USD 100,000 for 2013 recorded at the newly established processing facility. Farmer productivity per-unit area and incomes from fruit and vegetable chips were improved vis-à-vis the situation in which the farmers sold fresh produce.
The project outcomes and experiences have been included in the final completion report as prepared by the PEA and endorsed by the FAO. Key information can be accessed through the above link.