Livingstone Tanzania trust
Re-design of food buckets to prevent waste and support economic growth for farmers in Babati, with Livingstone Tanzania Trust (LTT), Tanzania
One of the biggest issues facing farmers who sell their produce in the markets of Babati is the longevity of the produce, as on the way to the market or at the stalls, produce can quickly become overripe and unsellable. This loss of produce is a loss of income for the farmers. We recently worked with Livingstone Tanzania Trust, a charity whose programmes on farming practices have been widely adapted in Tanzania, to help address the issue of food wastage between farmer to market, in order to minimize the economic losses of the farmers.
We started this project by conducting a deep dive into the problem space, researching the various parameters that could affect food ripening, as well as exploring multiple avenues to prevent or extend the shelf-life of the produce. It was found that the plastic buckets currently used to transport food from the farms to the market were unsuitable as it caused over-heating of the food, and overfilling caused the lower items to become ‘squashed’ due to the weight of the top layers. During our innovation and design phase, we developed different concept prototypes for solutions to this issue of ripening, ultimately developing preventative ripening interventions with immediate, mid-term and long-term strategies to support the transition from the current experience. In our immediate interventions, we disseminated informative posters with information on improving the longevity of food produce by separating certain items. With the insights from LTT and farmers in the market, a multi-layer sustainable basket solution was developed.
The layered baskets are made from sisal, a readily available fiber in Babati that are natural and biodegradable. They are also locally produced by weavers, promoting local arts & crafts and supporting local entrepreneurship. They’re layered design prevents over-ripening of produce as it allows for breathability, protection from sunlight, and mechanical separation. Wide-spread adaptation of the baskets would reduce food wastage of the produce, allowing produce to stay fresh for longer and enabling more sales at the market.
We have been working with Minazi for 6 months now and are delighted in what we have achieved together. They are highly organised and efficient, and have listened carefully to the brief and have been very reactive to the changes that evolve as the project moved forwards. The level of research within the team is staggering and the fact that they are sharing their wealth of knowledge with us is breathtaking. Small charities like ours are often the Jack of all trade establishments and working with masters in a specific area is like finding a treasure trove.