Pepper Potential.

first_imgIt sounds easy. But it took time to get the processing right.”Like anything else new, it was a learning process,”Lee said. “We had some headaches with it early, getting everythingdown right. But now we know what we’re doing and are ready forthe crop to come in this year.”Reynolds said a facility like the one on Lee’s farm could be extendedto include other vegetable and fruit crops.”I’m looking at the possibility of doing something with eggplants,bell peppers and fruit crops,” he said. For example, a productand market could be developed to handle overripe peaches.Lee says he’s looking at his farm in a new way. If fresh-producemarket prices fall too low, he said, he can simply crank up hisfood processing facility. He may even grow crops for the directpurpose of processing on his farm. “It gives us another choice now on what we can do,”he said. Until last year, as much as half of Bill Lee’s jalapeñopepper crop was wasted. Peppers that didn’t meet the peak-qualitydemands of the fresh-produce market were thrown away or neverpicked. But not anymore.With help from the University of Georgia and part of a $120,000grant from the Governor’s Development Office, Lee built a smallfood-processing facility on his farm.The facility allowed him to turn his unmarketable fresh peppersinto a brine jalapeño product. The brine peppers can laterbe used in other products, such as sauces.Most important, Lee said, a part of the crop he would otherwisehave to abandon can now make him some money.”It’s a lot better than just throwing them away,” saidLee, who has farmed more than 35 years near Adel, Ga.Wasted in the Fields Because they can’t be sold to fresh markets, many of the vegetablesgrown in Georgia are never harvested. Most Georgia-grown vegetablesare targeted for fresh-produce markets. These markets demand thehighest quality produce.However, as the harvest progresses, the quality of the crop oftendeclines. Though the taste is good, it looks less appealing, andthe fresh-produce market passes on buying it.”Georgia is vying for third place in the nation in vegetableproduction,” said Estes Reynolds. He coordinates the ExtensionOutreach Programs of the University of Georgia Food ProcessingResearch and Development Lab.”We’ll have to find alternatives,” Reynolds said, “forthe portion of the crop that doesn’t meet fresh-market standards.”Processing Value Lee’s processing facility, built next to his packing shed, isabout the size of a two-car garage.Specifications, quality standards, processing requirements andestablished procedures for field handling, sanitation, harvesting,processing and packaging were developed for the facility. Allaspects of the facility meet Georgia Department of Agricultureand Food and Drug Administration requirements, Reynolds said.Now, Lee picks the peppers he’d normally leave in the field afterthe fresh-produce market has passed. Last year, he also boughtunmarketable peppers from four other local farmers.The peppers are sorted by quality and bathed in a chlorine-watersolution. They’re taken into the facility then and chopped intoslices. The sliced jalapeños are then combined with a brinemade of salt, water and vinegar.The peppers are packed into large barrels, each containing 200pounds of peppers and 86 pounds of brine. At full capacity, thefacility can produce 65 barrels a day.After packing, the peppers are ready to become future ingredientsin other products. The peppers on Lee’s farm were sold to a processingcompany in Atlanta, Ga.The Potentiallast_img read more

World Bank to finance storage development in Asia, Africa

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享ECN News:Solar energy could be a huge source of power in Africa, but its potential has been stymied by storage batteries that are too expensive and inadequate for use in poor countries.The World Bank aims to break through that bottleneck, announcing plans Wednesday to invest $1 billion—and leverage it by another $4 billion—to boost developing countries’ energy storage capacity from 4.5 to 17.5 gigawatt hours by 2025.Africa, where solar power is an “unmissable” source of energy, will be the first to benefit, said Riccardo Puliti, head of energy practice at the World Bank. Bangladesh and other developing countries of Southeast Asia also will benefit from the World Bank’s investment, which aims to stimulate a fledgling market and to create a “virtuous circle.”“We want to develop the market for batteries in developing countries,” Puliti told AFP. “Storage has a great future.”Lithium batteries are available today, but they are made principally for electric vehicles. Instead, the World Bank would like to see affordable batteries that are scaled to village life, capable of lasting seven or eight hours at night, resistant to extreme temperatures and require little maintenance.The cost is a crucial factor. Today, the best batteries available in industrialized countries cost $200 to $300 per kilowatt hour of installed capacity, or less. In developing countries, they are prohibitively expensive, ranging in price from $400 to $700 per kilowatt hour. The World Bank’s goal is to bring those prices down in the coming years.More: World Bank bets big on batteries for solar energy boost World Bank to finance storage development in Asia, Africalast_img read more