Construction of cocoa solar dryers in Kyela District, Mbeya region

Construction of cocoa solar dryers in Kyela District, Mbeya region

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Terms of reference for construction of cocoa solar dryers in Kyela District, Mbeya region

Project name: Enhancing Cocoa Quality for Farmer Livelihoods in Kyela District


Rikolto is an international NGO with more than 50 years’ experience in partnering with farmer organizations and food chain stakeholders across Africa, Asia, Europe, and Latin America. Inclusive business is at their core. We promote long-term business relationships fulfilling farmers' and buyers' needs alike. We ensure the sustainability of our actions through a holistic sustainable food systems approach facilitating collective action among all food system actors.

Our work is structured around three global programmes: Rice, Cocoa & Coffee and Good Food 4 Cities programmes. Rikolto has been working in the coffee sector for more than 40 years globally and 30 years in East Africa and West Africa. Our projects have been focusing on improving community Livelihoods by closing the living income gap for farming families in the coffee sector. Strategies used have been co-creating solutions that contribute to family food security and business competitiveness, bring producer organizations closer to industry standards and work with companies on inclusive business practices, including women and youth in value chains.

Rikolto plans to implement a pilot project aimed at improving cocoa fermentation and drying practices to enhance cocoa quality. The primary focus will be on providing comprehensive quality management training to 10 selected agricultural marketing cooperatives. This training will equip cooperative members with the knowledge and skills necessary to manage and improve the fermentation and drying processes. The project will focus on these critical post-harvest processes, which aim to significantly enhance the overall quality of the cocoa beans produced.

The project will involve co-investment through the design and installation of environmentally friendly drying technologies. These technologies are intended to optimize the drying process and ensure uniform drying, which is essential for producing high-quality cocoa. The technologies will be designed to be sustainable and minimize environmental impact, such as Solar drying technologies. The goal is to produce premium-quality cocoa that meets international standards and increase the marketability and profitability of the cocoa produced by these cooperatives. This initiative is expected to improve the livelihoods of cocoa farmers by enabling them to fetch higher prices for their higher-quality produce, contributing to their living income.

The assignment:

  • Propose size, design, and implement environmentally friendly technologies for drying among the 10 cooperatives such as construction of high-quality solar dryer within the targeted cooperatives.

  • Construction and installation of cocoa solar dryers in the 10 selected cooperatives. These solar dryers will harness solar energy to provide a sustainable and efficient method for drying cocoa beans, which is crucial for preventing mold and ensuring a high-quality final product.

  • Conduct training to farmer cooperatives with a focus on educating farmer cooperatives on the best practices for using and maintaining solar dryers. This training will ensure that the new technologies are used effectively and sustainably, maximizing their benefits for cocoa quality and farmer productivity.

Solar Dryer specifications

1. Wooden Treated Poles:

  • For the structural support of all drying centers, utilize wooden poles that have been treated for durability and resistance to environmental elements. These poles should have a diameter of 5 inches to ensure robust and stable construction. The treatment process should involve preservatives to protect the wood from termites, fungal decay, and moisture.

2. Green Net Coverings for Drying Tables:

  • Every drying table within the drying centers must be covered with green nets. The nets will serve as a protective layer, preventing direct exposure to sunlight which can be too intense, while still allowing for proper airflow. The green nets also help in protecting the produce from pests and debris.

3. Ventilation for Solar Dryers:

  • All solar dryers should be meticulously designed to include ventilation features such as a chimney, vent, or fan. These elements are crucial for ensuring proper aeration within the dryers, which helps in maintaining an optimal drying environment. Proper ventilation will help remove moist air and prevent mold or mildew from growing on the drying produce.

4. Use of Polythene Material:

  • Consider incorporating polythene materials in the construction of all drying centers due to their durability and cost-effectiveness. Its properties should be resistance to water and chemicals, which makes it ideal for use when there is moisture or during rain.

5. Size of the solar dryers.

  • The solar dryer we are planning should be designed with a capacity large enough to accommodate between 1.5 and 2 metric tons (mt) of cocoa beans. This capacity will ensure that farmers can efficiently dry the cocoa beans during peak harvest times, optimizing the processing workflow.


  • Proposed design of solar drying technologies
  • Construction of 10 solar dryers in selected farmer cooperatives and organizations
  • Training report on best practice, maintenance of solar dryer among farmer cooperatives and organizations

Procedure to Apply

Qualified firms/candidates are invited to submit their Technical and Financial proposal/Quotations with detailed cost for construction, showing professional fee and include Cvs for qualified experts /engineers via email at eastafrica.recruitment [at] by 23 June 2024 and should indicate the title of this advertisement (Construction of cocoa solar dryers in Kyela District, Mbeya region) in the subject line

Note: The engagement for this service will be for Three months but is subject to an extension depending on funding availability AND if you do not hear from us within 7 days after the application closing date, please consider your application unsuccessful.