Dehydration is a food preservation technique that involves the extraction of water or moisture from food/fruit products, resulting in reduced size and weight. When compared to drying, the latter has consistently proven to be more effective. There are several benefits to dehydration. It enhances the quality of the preserved food and provides a higher yield while allowing microclimates to be controlled during the process. In addition to this, the dehydration technique facilitates the easy maintenance of sanitary conditions. This method ensures that dehydrated products retain their nutritional value and flavour while making them convenient for consumption, storage, and transportation. The controlled microclimate also helps in preserving the natural colours and textures of the food to make it visually appealing to consumers. With its numerous advantages, dehydration has become a preferred choice for preserving foods while extending their shelf life.

Given the benefits, Fairtrade NAPP in consultation with the Small Organic Growers Association in Sri Lanka implemented the Food dehydration project under the Gender Leadership School Small Entrepreneurship project. Currently, the Small Organic Growers Association consists of 200 successful members. The decision to focus on this project stems from a desire to establish a small business that provides employment opportunities for underprivileged youth in our locality while aiming for a broader reach in the international market. The organization decided to venture into jackfruit dehydration. The benefits of jackfruit dehydration are numerous. These include the convenience it offers for cooking, preservation of food quality, its ability to be stored effectively, and its usability even during non-seasonal periods.

After the dehydration process, approximately 1 kg of raw jackfruit yields about 80g of dehydrated jackfruit. The dehydration of 10 kg of raw jackfruit typically takes 10 hours. The product has been introduced to all society members through an awareness campaign led by 5 selected low-income women. The benefits generated from the campaign will be distributed among these 5 women and their families. Additionally, arrangements have been made to supply dehydrated jackfruit products to the local market, ensuring accessibility to a wider customer base and promoting sustainable business growth.

The dehydrated jackfruit products have found a receptive market among the members of their society. With the necessary steps taken to ensure compliance with health regulations, site inspections have been successfully carried out to expand their sales to the local market. So far, they have sold 2500g of dried jackfruit in addition to approximately 10kg of dried jackfruit ready for packing. The product is officially registered, and the team has undergone proper training, ensuring its high standards. While currently available exclusively to their members, they are actively exploring opportunities to further develop and promote their dehydrated jackfruit in broader markets. With a promising start and growing demand, they are committed to providing a delicious and nutritious product to a wider audience.


“I have 3 members in my family including myself. I am a member of this GLS Mini Project. The money I receive from our involvement is very useful to me and my family. I express my gratitude to Fairtrade for introducing this program. Our input has produced very good nutritious food items till date, and it is my hope to further develop it and continue to work on this project.” – Nayana Malkanth

“I have 5 members in my family including myself. I have been a member of the Fairtrade Committee for many years and have been working for the last 5 months on the GLS mini-project introduced by Fairtrade. Following the availability of training on the preparation of food items, I have been helping in the preparation in the best possible way. It is easier to meet the needs of my family with the money available. It is very useful for me as it is an additional income to supplement my family. I am keen to continue to work on such projects.” – D M Kusumawathy.

Leave a Reply