Solar Dryers

Solar Dryers

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Training in efficient use of agricultural product

By training a large number of small producers, we will achieve: the carrying out of plantations that respect local ecosystems, planting of new varieties, the better use of harvest, utilization of latest technological advances while reaching and developing new markets.

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Team: Coop Solar Dryers

Team members

Gustavo Quercetti, Diego Quercetti, Marcelo Quercetti, Sheila Camargo, Lorena Pinea

Members roles and background

Gustavo Quercetti (CO), husband and father of 3 children, is part of a family business, passionate about sharing time with his family and teaching his children that if we want a better, fairer and healthier world to live in, we must start by changing our micro-space. National Public Accountant, businessman, a born entrepreneur, with a strong inclination to the incubation of self-sustainable and environmentally friendly ideas. Agriculture and the use of natural resources have been the guideline of the projects in which he has participated or developed, as well as the research and development of natural products. For Gustavo, human and social commitment plays a central role, therefore, the benefit and measurement of the impact on society, the environment and the members for whom they are developed are central.

Diego Quercetti (Administration), husband and father of 2 children, sports and family trips are a central part of his life, member of a family business, with a strong inclination to help others and to work hard and constantly make a difference. National Public Accountant, entrepreneur, with more than 20 years in general management, personnel and cost management. Proactive, organized with a strong belief in teamwork and achieving his goals.

Marcelo Quercetti (Sales) husband and father of 3 children, loves to travel, share outdoor activities with his family and chat with friends. Member of a family business, the achievement of goals and the good of the family are among his priorities. Sales expert, with more than 25 years of experience in similar positions, extensive knowledge of the market and entrepreneurial spirit. A born leader and skilled analyst of business opportunities.

Sheila Camargo (PR), wife and mother of 3 children (one newborn), cheerful, tenacious, curious, organized and has lived abroad. Fluent in English, with experience in dealing directly with clients and companies. Responsible, cordial, good diction, methodical, trained for teamwork and personal management.

Lorena Pinea (Strategic planning, project management, processes, data analyst). Wife and mother of 3 children, art lover in all its expressions, self-taught, creative in doing new things with a passion for outdoor activities with her family. Lover of travels, photography and challenges, demanding and detail-oriented, cooking is also among her interests. Degree in Administration, 20 years of experience in management, planning and process positions. ISO 9001:2015 Lead Auditor, a born team builder, extensive experience in project implementations. 11 years of work in software analysis and development. Born a leader, proactive and self-taught. Strong inclination to work with broad social impact.

Contact details

Gustavo Quercetti gquercetti@yahoo.com, Diego Quercetti digoquercetti@yahoo.com, Marcelo Quercetti chelo975@yahoo.com.ar, Sheila Camargo sheilaevelinc@gmail.com, Lorena Pinea lorepinea@gmail.com

Solution description

To improve you have to know, to know you have to learn, to learn you have to have someone to teach you. We can teach you!

Where we live, small and medium producers of fruit and vegetables are of low cultural level and scarce resources. Access to formal education is limited as a result of both economic and geolocation aspects. Therefore, the way to access these communities is through explanatory images or videos.

Unfortunately, the Southern Cone does not have great technological development in agricultural production areas, but thanks to contemporary access to communications, everyone has at least one smartphone

Our idea is to prepare slides or videos of short duration so that through using social networks we have the ability to reach small and medium producers. As such we can bring them news about new technologies and products; better methods of production and conservation of crops; new markets and everything that is useful to improve productivity within sustainable practices.

We will measure our success through the amount of producers’ income to the cooperative, the number of likes on the videos, the entrance to the links, the overall number of subscribers and the engagement to the WhatsApp or Telegram groups. We will also monitor the responses to our polling surveys on contemporary topics in sustainable agriculture.

This concept complements our original project of naturally dehydrating surplus fruits and vegetables that do not reach consumers due to market standards or low prices. In these cases, we will form a cooperative where we provide small and medium producers with an outlet for these surpluses, dehydrating and marketing them jointly, accessing different markets, increasing their profits by shortening the marketing chain.

Solution context

In Argentina, citizens do not consume 12.5% of their produce which amounts to 16 million tons a year being wasted in the country. Out of this sum, 14.5 million gets lost before reaching consumers

Production that does not reach consumers represents a waste of resources destined for food production such as water, land, fertilizers, labour, etc. It also contributes to unnecessary use of landfill space, loss of money from producers, sellers and consumers and emissions of polluting gases and liquids. In fact, according to the same research, the carbon footprint of food produced that is not consumed is estimated at 3,300 million tons of CO2, which is equivalent to the consumption of the third-largest CO2 emitter in the world after the United States and China.

To sum up, small and medium producers lack access to the knowledge about new production techniques to reduce the carbon footprint, about the production of foods free of agrochemicals and about better uses of crops by marketing not only fruits and standardized vegetables but even all those that do not fall within those standards.

Solution target group

Our solution is aimed at small and medium agricultural producers, who do not have access to formal education for multiple structural reasons, but who represent a large part of the local production. These producers support a large group of families directly and indirectly, in addition to being in charge of supplying the domestic market and being the engine that fuels the entire rural area.

Solution impact

 Through information and small educational tools, we intend to raise awareness and provide crop management resources to these producers, improving their economy, making their work more efficient and producing a positive impact on the natural ecosystems of our region as well as globally.

Our productive area is affected by severe droughts since our region is a semi-desert. With the advancement of urban areas, rural areas are left almost without water resources. In addition, crops are affected by late frosts and hail storms, which leave production decimated. For these reasons, we consider it very necessary to reach these producers and collaborate in improving their adaptation to this environment in a natural way, not aggressive to the environment.

Solution tweet text

Find out about the latest innovations in food production techniques: products with higher yields, stronger commercial value, new uses of resources with lower costs and, above all, eradication of product waste. The product of all your work has value, do not waste it.

Solution innovativeness

Today the main source of information for farmers is Agroinsumos, which is clearly oriented to the commercialization of their products.

There are also many internet pages where they explain endless concepts, but producers cannot read on their phones, nor do they have the habit of consulting these types of pages. There are also informative segments and even agricultural channels, but once again they do not reach where the producer spends most of his time, in the field, without access to televisions or computers, not even tablets.

Our proposal focuses on finding producers through messaging apps, to offer them on their cell phones a personalized and for the moment unique alternative of information and training with graphic resources and short videos. Apart from seeing or learning something new they have the opportunity to put it into practice, something that is naturally the engine of their activity. Each production cycle is a new opportunity to implement this training and add it to their knowledge base. By sharing their experience and collaborating in the development of content on our platforms, they will contribute to the training of more producers, the distribution of useful information, self-evaluation and the formation of self-sustaining and environmentally friendly economies at scale.

Solution transferability

Our proposal can be transferred to any region and context. It will only be necessary to assess the needs of local producers and define the concepts to be transmitted.

Solution sustainability

Our implementation plan begins by presenting our projects to producers, services and other similar alternatives in the future. Simultaneously, we will launch the formation of the Cooperative since in Argentina the procedures to start this type of society take from 1 year and a half to 2 years.

In the medium term, we have to add IT experts, communicators and designers to the team who will be able to specify our content.

In the long term, we have to open offices in strategic production points in the rest of the country, create an information and training channel on environmentally-friendly sustainable production issues - the creation of producer networks in mutual collaboration.

Solution team work

 At Solar Dryers we believe that teamwork is the key to achieving significant results. The true team is achieved when the whole is more than the sum of the individual parts. Without the commitment of each member, any initiative is very difficult to achieve, so much so that our challenge in the first instance poses the formation of a cooperative, whose natural spirit is collaboration and teamwork.

In the future, we not only believe that we can continue working in this way, but we also consider it as the only way to achieve and exceed our goals.

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DigiEduHack 2021 partners & supporters

DigiEduHack is an EIT initiative under the European Commission's Digital Education Action Plan, led by EIT Climate-KIC and coordinated by Aalto University. In 2021, the main stage event is hosted by the Slovenian Presidency of the Council of the European Union in cooperation with the International Research Center on Artificial Intelligence (IRCAI) under the auspices of UNESCO.

EIT Climate-Kic

Aalto University

European commission

Slovenian Ministry of Education, Science and Sport

International Research Center on Artificial Intelligence

EIT Community: Human Capital