Using the sun?s rays
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CTA. 2008. Using the sun?s rays. Rural Radio Resource Pack 08/1. Wageningen, The Netherlands: CTA.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/57389
The oldest method of drying has advantages and disadvantages
Using the Sun?s rays Cue: Sun drying is the oldest method of drying agricultural produce. It?s free, and it?s effective. There are some disadvantages: the weather is not always hot, and roaming animals can sometimes get a juicy meal from your hard work. But, as Ismaila Senghore found out when he spoke to Peter Monnie, sun drying has its rewards. With some added salt, all kinds of fish can be preserved through sun drying - from skate to the unusual-looking ?guitar? fish. By putting them on a platform of stalks from the ?rhun? tree, which is like a palm tree, the fish are protected from scavenging animals. Once dried they can be sold. Ismaila went to one fishing community on the windy beaches of Banjul in The Gambia, to find out more. IN: ?The people here are mainly? OUT: ?Yes a glut.? DUR?N: 4?18? BACK ANNOUNCEMENT: That was Ismaila Senghore talking to Peter Monnie in the Gambia. Adding salt, together with the heat from the sun, can preserve all kinds of fish - and fruits and vegetables too. The market may not always be good. But sun dried foods have the advantage that they can be stored, and eaten when resources are scarce. The interview comes from a resource pack produced by CTA. Transcript Monnie The people here are mainly fishermen so our women too, they also have involved themselves in it. Senghore Now let me know now the kind of fish that you dry here? Monnie Skate, skate fish or guitar fish as their form looks like a guitar. So we have named it guitar fish. Senghore The sea snails - you dry them here too? Monnie Yes we have them also here. We also dry them here. We also get them from the fishermen and we get them, we crack then we dry them. So it is also part of the activities. Senghore Now Peter, what are the procedures that you undertake in drying your fish? When you want to dry fish, where do you start from? Monnie Yes, when we want to dry the fish at least we bring the fish from the seashore and you bring them to our site. Then we off scale them, we scale them off. We remove some of the items in the fish. Senghore The intestines and so forth? Monnie Yes. Senghore And the gills? Monnie Yes the gills and the intestines. As you can see them you see we remove them and then after you wash them. Then you put them on the platforms. Senghore So in other words the only treatment that you apply is salting? Monnie Yes it is only salt because salt is the natural treatment. Senghore Now I have seen that you have various fish here spread on these platforms. Why do you have to put them on platforms, almost one metre high? Monnie Yes, you have to do so because we have some animals around us, donkeys, cattle and it is not safe to dry them on the ground. Senghore I can see that your platform seems to be very practical because it made of the stalks of rhun leaves and you have some tree cuttings that you have planted in the garden, you mounted your platform on these tree cuttings. Now you can see that there is space between the rhun sticks that allows some kind of air to blow from under through the fish. Now does that possibly help your drying, is it advantageous for the drying? Monnie Yes it is very, very advantageous so that air can blow under it so that while the one that is facing the sun is drying, then the wind also is blowing under it so that they get dry at the same time. Senghore Now how do you know that your fish is dry? Do you come to look at it from time to time? Monnie Yes we are always at the site. When we dry them the next day we come and we turn them all around then it becomes fully dry. Senghore Yes because the temperature may not be very hot from the sun. Sometimes you know it might not be very sunny. It means you have to come day by day to turn it over and over is it? Monnie Yes that is why you turn them all around. Senghore Ok, now that you come and inspect it every day to see whether it is dry now. When it is fully dry how would you know it is fully dry? Monnie Yes because when it is dry the fish become very hard. When you break it you cannot, it cannot then everything becomes hard. Senghore All right now if you would want to, for example, tell anybody to start this kind of venture anywhere in the Third World what kind of advice would you give them? Monnie Yes the advice that I would give them is that it seems like tedious work but it is also helping our community. Senghore Now Mr Monnie, when you come to selling your fish now where do you sell your fish and do you think it is lucrative business? Monnie Yes after drying them we pack them, we wake up early in the morning around five o?clock and we send them to the roadside and then we take where we have the market there, then we sell. So we sell them locally. Senghore And do you have a good revenue from it, is it lucrative like is it profitable? Monnie Yes, sometimes it is profitable. If a lot of people in the market in a day, the market will not be all that impressive because a lot of the fish will be there. So sometimes you will sell? Senghore There will be a glut? Monnie Yes a glut. End of track