Wakati is an innovative little machine, which is capable of providing sterilized storage for fruit and vegetables, keeping them from spoiling in hot climates. This product is aimed at farmers in developing countries who do not have regular access to electricity and therefore refrigerators, meaning that a large portion of the food they produce goes to waste. To fight this problem, the Wakati is capable of operating on solar power.
The Wakati is a top-loading tent-like structure, that can hold up to 330 lb. (150kg) of produce. It is also equipped with a 3 W solar panel and a solar-energy powered ventilator that keep the contents cool. The ventilator works by gradually evaporating 6.7 Fl. Oz. (200 ml) of water a week, which creates a humid environment inside the tent.
According to one Wakati designers, the purpose of creating a humid environment is making sure that crops don’t dry out after being harvested. This means that there is no deterioration in the cells of the crops, which keeps the rot causing acids and enzymes from being released.
However, the Wakati is not a fridge as it does not control temperature and therefore can’t be used to store produce for longer periods. But according to the designers, the shelf life of produce harvested in hot climates is increased from 1-2 day to 10 days by storing them in a Wakati. As such, it is perfect for increasing the shelf life of fruits and vegetables grown in developing countries, reducing waste and maximizing the farmers’ profits.
One hundred Wakatis have recently been shipped to farmers in Uganda, Haiti, and Afghanistan and more are on the way. A Wakati currently costs $100 to produce, though the designers hope this number will decrease as production increases.