Dried food is good!

Dried food is good!

ROMA – DRIED fruit is good. That is why the National University of Lesotho (NUL) is happy to introduce the Mangangajane Electric Fruit Drier.
That is because Seforo Mohlalisi and Thabo Koetje, the two prolific NUL thinkers, are at it again.
With the press of a button, you have your fruits dried, within a minimum of 8 hours.
You are ready to munch, or package and sell.

The fruits are very clean and healthy—you can sell them to Shoprite, or Pick ’n pay. It is the work of NUL’s latest gadget.
It is an electric fruit drier whose temperatures and electric currents are controlled through a Process Control concept.
Depending on the kind of fruit you are drying, or on whether it is fruit or vegetables, or meat, you can actually set the temperature you want, press a button and go on with your everyday work as the magic unfolds.

If you are an alien, or if you are from another alien land, you might wonder, why are they celebrating at all?
We are neither celebrating because this is the latest cutting edge machine — No, nor are we celebrating because we feel we are an Elon Musk, capable of sending electric cars to orbit Mars.

We are celebrating because we can now produce our own dried fruits with — wait for it — our own Mangangajane Fruit Drier.
How is that? It is designed in Lesotho, manufactured in Lesotho, produces dried fruits in Lesotho and it can be repaired in Lesotho.
Tell us, what more can we ask for?

It is a big deal because the drier is way, way too good an improvement compared to where we come from.
Drying fruit is nothing new in Lesotho.
In fact it is an age old practice.
Apparently we also dried meat.
That is why we can now talk of mangangajane (dried fruits), makobacho (dried vegetables) and lihoapa (dried meat).

“But our production methods have always been, and largely remain rudimentary and subsistent,” Koetje says.
By far the most common method of drying is placing chopped fruits on a mat and subjecting them to sunlight for days and days.
But there is a problem with that approach especially if you want to talk business.
“Depending on the sun is depending on the undependable,” Koetje added.

A dried fruit producer who depends on the sun is like a farmer who depends on the rain.
Both folks rely on the unreliable.
In times of rain, when the farmer is happy, the dried fruit producer is sad—and vice versa.
Both guys just cannot cut it in the world of serious business.

When the farmer prays for more rain, the dried fruit producer prays for more sunlight, mind you—at the same time!
Then there is an improvement, sort of.Some locally made fruit driers are structures that protect fruits with a glass.
On one hand, the glass helps protect the fruits from contamination. On the other hand, it helps retain more of the heat in a greenhouse process.
That’s about it.

“That approach still doesn’t solve the fundamental problem,” Koetje added. “You still depend on sunlight for the survival of your business.”
That won’t bode well for savvy business gurus out there.

That is why NUL’s Mangangajane Fruit Drier will prove to be just what Basotho have always been waiting for.
Well it’s not that Basotho can’t buy fruit driers from across the border, they can and they have always done it.
But they were often disappointed.

Not the least because going around in other people’s countries looking for automated electric fruit driers is not a walk in the park.
And the thought of what will happen when the machine inevitably breaks down is not park walk either.
The machine sellers rarely ever come back to help fix the machines.

If they do, they charge the same amount with which you bought the machine in the first place.
Folks, is it not refreshing that, at last, we can have factories which will produce our machines locally and repair them locally?
It is a breath of fresh air.

“Our experience is that people have been disappointed many times whenever they ventured into buying these foreign machines,” revealed Koetje.
The machine works like this. You put your mangangajane in the shelves. You just press a button to get it started, set the temperatures you want, wait until the fruits are dried and look, taste and feel crunchy and finger-licking good.
Then you now munch or package and sell.
Business begins here.

Own Correspondent

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