Bhutan: Solar dryers for rural communities

Dagana Dzongkhag is one of the remotest districts in Bhutan. Yet, the location is blessed with favourable climatic conditions for the cultivation of fruits and vegetables. Traditional methods are still being used, such as open-air sun drying and smoke but they are not satisfactory as products deteriorate rapidly resulting in vegetable shortage during the cold season.During a visit to a previous project providing eco-stoves to 300 families, a concern was raised by the local heads of villages in relation to nutrition and economic development.  

A new project was born to provide a better conservation of the food. The project fosters sustainable development by enhancing food security (waste prevention) and making food available during lean seasons (reducing intensive food imports and exports). The originality of the products gives them a marketable edge and communities can sell them to generate an income. 


A competition was launched between different Universities to design the solar dryer. The successful model fulfilled the selection criteria based on originality, efficiency, affordability, marketability, materials used, presentation and elevator pitch. Two graduates from a vocational training institute are currently working on the sites of Goshi and Jigmeling to familiarise the communities with the fabrication and usage of the solar dryers



Goshi and Deorali
Dagana Dzongkhag region
653 households

Duration: 18 months

Production: The dryer’s design was the result of a competition between several Universities.


Partners Tarayana Foundation LogoThe Foundation works towards building a happy and prosperous Bhutan. It was established in 2003 by Her Majesty the Queen Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck and focuses on helping remote communities lacking in socio-economic development. The foundation thrives to develop volunteerism amongst the Bhutanese youth, together with improving access to health services and children’s right to education, and fostering micro finance.

Sponsor: Norbert Fuernkranz
Promoter: Daniel Tappeiner

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