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To achieve self-reliance, poor communities need answers to questions like: How can we grow more and healthier food? Protect our health? Create jobs? A key part of Canada’s aid program since 1970, IDRC supports research in developing countries to answer these questions.  



Drying grapes in northern Chile  [1982]

Olhagaray, J.M. (Institute of Technological Research, Santiago de Chile (Chile));

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This paper reports the results on the drying of Thompson seedless grapes in Northern Chile. The Thompson seedless grape is grown in the Valley of Copiapo River which is economically depressed and has a high rate of unemployment. The grape is used mainly for export purposes; however, for variety and quality reasons only 70% of production is exported, which leaves about 800 tons of usable grapes discarded. An adaptation of the Australian method of sun drying grapes was considered as a solution to the problem. A drying rack prototype was built with a capacity of one ton of fresh grapes. Drying runs were conducted during the summer of 1978. Results show the technical feasibility of drying the grapes by this method. An economic study that was carried out shows the need for a moderate investment in relation to a good return, and a high requirement for hand labour.