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Tony Marjoram, PhD,

Guest Professor, Faculty of Engineering and Science, University of Aalborg,

Member, Senior Engineers Group, Engineers Australia, Victoria Division
Head of Engineering, Basic and Engineering Sciences, UNESCO, 2001-2011

Appropriate Technology for Food and Nutrition

presentation at the Conference

Future Directions For Food In Timor-Leste: Improving Nutrition,

Cuisine, Food Markets and Rural Livelihoods

sponsored by:
Victoria University and the Universidade Nacional Timor Loro Sae, Dili

July 2013


University of the South Pacific, Rural Development/Studies, 1980-87

Appropriate technology

University of Melbourne, Development Technologies, 1987-93

Development technology
Head of Engineering, Basic/Engineering Sciences, UNESCO, 2001-2011
Engineering: Issues, Challenges and Opportunities for Development
Engineering and technology for development
Humanitarian engineering

underpins social and economic development
Vital in poverty reduction, sustainable development, climate change
Vital for infrastructure, industry, employment, quality of life, eg:
water supply, sanitation, housing, transportation, communication,
food production, processing, preservation
Food and nutrition talk about:
Food processing/preservation technologies, marketing, livelihoods
Areas of need, surveys of need,
Possible projects, need for appropriate policy
Role of institutions/organisations:
Government, universities, NGOs, private sector (esp SMEs)
ATA (Timor activity), Practical Action/ITDG, Appropedia
Conclude with possible activities in Timor

Food processing/preservation technologies

First food processing technology

three stone stove
Inefficient - need more fuel/labour
Smoky - lung and eye disease
kill 1.6m people per year (WHO)
Only one pot, risk of fire, burns, scalds
Why improve? save fuel, better health/life for cooks/fuel
collectors, better food/nutrition, reduce post-harvest loss
Improved stoves and cooking technologies include:
Smokeless biomass stoves (various, domestic, institutional)
Charcoal stoves (and charcoal production)
Solar cookers
Slow/retained heat/insulated cookers (eg hay boxes)
Kerosene/gas/electric stoves (non-trad)
Improved cooking stoves (on traditional methods)

Burn fuel more efficiently, less smoke, chimney, examples:

Single pot stove bucket, Charcoal/USP, Jiko, Chulha, Rocket
Multi-pot brick/slab stove (USP 2-Pot, Justa, Lorena, turbo )
Fuel: biomass wood, coconut, cow dung, peat, charcoal, briquette
Cooking: boil/stew/fry/grill (fire), bake/roast (oven), fermentation
Issues/success stories/lessons learnt design, cost, materials

Timor cooking: all above in traditional, Portuguese, SE Asian cuisine

Using: rice, noodle, maize, sweet potato, cassava, taro, cabbage,
spinach, beans, onions, meat, fish
Improved cooking stoves - alternatives

Solar cookers
parabolic reflectors

Retained heat/insulated cookers


Issues/success stories/lessons learnt

Other food processing/preservation technologies

Solar driers:
eg for bananas

eg for fish

presses, expellers:
Eg oilseed, coconut oil

Other food processing/preservation technologies

Food preservation eg pickles, jams, conserves

Food storage cooling, eg:
Coolgardie cooler/safe, from Kalgoorlie (evaporative cooler), ice-box

Food distribution - needs markets, fresh produce, supply chains

eg bicycle ice-box: also - solar-PV fridges:


Before action thought

What are rural/village needs for food proc/pres technologies?

Village/household energy surveys - very useful for determining:

household energy use for cooking/food processing, lighting,
heating, transport etc
As conducted by Pacific Energy Development Programme (PEDP)
in the Pacific Forum-island countries in 1980s

Important to conduct research, design, materials, testing into food

processing and preservation needs and technologies

Need to involve government (eg Ministry of Energy), National

University, aid organisations, NGOs, and people in need

Information, Advocacy and Policy

Need for information on need for, design and use of improved food
processing and preservation technologies

Need for advocacy on need for improved food processing and

preservation technologies needs champions

For example from Alternative Technology Association (Timor

activity), Practical Action/ITDG, Appropedia

For example such as the Transfer of Appropriate Technology

leaflets produced by the USP institute of Rural Development
(see next page)

Also need for appropriate government policy as well as survey

indicators no data, no visibility; no visibility, no priority

USP leaflets on cooking stoves

USP leaflets on inst cooking stove and charcoal

Capacity building education and training

To promote information on need for, design and use of improved

food processing and preservation technologies

Need to involve local government (ministries of energy, food,

agriculture), National University, aid organisations, NGOs, and
local people

Need to include issues relating to food processing and preservation

technologies in university courses and research, eg:
improved cooking stoves are advanced thermodynamic devices
local university courses/research should be based on local needs

Need to develop humanitarian engineering organisations such as

Engineers Without Borders (EWB)

Suggestions for Actions/Recommendations

Undertake village/household energy surveys on food processing,

preservation, lighting, heating, transport, develop indicators

Develop advocacy on need for improved food processing and

preservation technologies, and enlist champions

Develop information on need for, design and use of improved food

processing and preservation technologies

Develop National University courses and research food processing

and preservation technologies

Develop research, design, materials and testing, relating to

household energy needs

Advocate for and help develop appropriate government policy