Méchoto is an innovative digital kit whose mission is to reduce agricultural losses in Togo. With a system that controls the temperature and humidity of the storage site, the kit provides several conservation functions and is seen as a boon for farmers.
Keeping agricultural crops under optimal conditions is the challenge faced by Wesley Fioklou Messan-Koudosso, a 23-year-old Togolese from the National School of Engineering (ENSI) at the University of Lome.
In sub-Saharan Africa, grain losses are estimated to be worth $ 4 billion, according to FAO and the World Bank. Thus, investing in post-harvest technologies to reduce food losses would result in a significant increase in supplies. An approach that the young Togolese engineer quickly understood because his technology is a clever mix of the needs of the African peasant and crop protection. Agbéko Kodjo Tounou, a researcher in insect entomology and pathology at the University of Lomé, confirmed to our colleagues at SciDevNet that most of the agricultural losses are attributable to pests and fungi:
He calls his device “Mechoto” which means supervisor, in Fon language. The use is simple: the user indicates the product to be preserved and Méchoto automatically highlights the temperature margin and the moisture content required for storage. The device is sold on the market at 60,000 CFA / piece.
The technology is equipped with a sensor and a 9-volt battery. With a weight of 300 grams and Bluetooth technology, Mechoto transmits the data on an LCD screen, directly to a housing. In addition to these innovations, the device is an inclusive tool. Mechoto can also communicate with an illiterate user, showing him sound and light signals, thus alerting to the quality of the place of storage.
Progress is still being made to equip the device with a dryer and an air conditioner to automatically regulate humidity and temperature, all based on agricultural products.