Pedal powered cassava peeling machine
Abstract: The Base of the Pyramid (BoP) refers to 4 - 4,5 billion people in the world, who are living on less than a few dollars per day. This majority of the world's population has a little resources and is usually considered as a group with no purchasing power and therefore is currently unserved and underserved by current products and services. However, more than any others, the low-income consumers are constantly and eagerly looking for products that can improve their living and working quality at an affordable price. Hence it is important today to re-conceptualize and pay interested in the value-demanding customers at the BoP. This is also considered as mission to offer low-income people pathways to prosperity. By investing in the 4-5 billion-person market, will engage in ways to do well (make profit) and do good (improve humanity). This Master's Degree Project is supported by the Innovation Engineering group at the Department of Design Sciences, Lund University, in collaboration with Blekinge Institute of Technology, Sweden and Universidade Federal do Amazonas, Brazil. An one-month fieldtrip has been taken place at the rural communities near Manaus, Amazonas, focused on the target of low-income people living in the Amazon region in order to access closer to the daily life of local and clearly understand the context of the people within. Cassava is the third most important crop plant after rice and maize in Asia, Africa and Latin America, and its flour is a primary calorie source in tropical regions around the world. In the Amazon region, Cassava roots are processed into a type of flour called Farinha, which is extremely common and is used as a basic staple food. The product also provides an important income to huge numbers of households in the rural areas. Transforming cassava into flour is a long process which takes a couple of days and basically includes six steps: Peeling, Washing, Grinding, Drying, Sifting and Frying. Men usually engage in machine operations for grinding, pressing and sifting, while women and children are usually responsible for any manual operations such as peeling, washing and frying. It has been reported that peeling the roots by hand is a major problem and takes 65% of the total time of the whole process. This hard and tedious job has low productivity and high product losses, and it is very time consuming and requires physical labour in poor working conditions. However, machines for peeling cassava are rare in this region due to the high cost of available machines in the market, the scarcity of electricity, and high cost of gas. How could this be improved? My goal in this project was to design and develop a solution for how a low cost product could satisfy the identified needs, thinking about the importance of rural development and poverty alleviation and how small scale productions can contribute to households and livelihood security. The result is a cassava peeling machine that improves working conditions, increases the productivity, reduces product losses, reduces time consumption and physical labour. Due to the limit of electricity and high cost of gas, a pedal-powered concept was chosen. The rotating drum efficiently maintains the purpose of rubbing the cassava skin off, using high-tech abrasive rollers with wire brushes.
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