KinoSol Orenda

solar-powered food dehydrator that reduces post-harvest loss.

Photo of Mikayla Sullivan
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I confirm that I am fully aware of the eligibility criteria, and based on its description, I am eligible to apply to the CSV Prize 2017.

  • Yes, I'm eligible

Preferred language

  • English

Organization name

KinoSol SBC

Year founded


Initiative stage

  • Growth (the pilot has already launched and is starting to expand)

Annual budget in 2017 (USD)

  • $10k - $50k

Number of beneficiaries impacted so far

  • 500 - 1,000

Organization type

  • For-profit

Secondary Focus Area

  • Rural development
  • Nutrition

Headquarters location: Country

  • United States of America

Headquarters location: City

Ames, IA

Location(s) of impact

Uganda: Kebisoni, Kashambya, Bwongyera Tanzania: Morogoro Brazil: Boituva Cambodia: Battambang Nigeria: Kaduna El Salvador: El Recreo


Facebook URL

Twitter URL

Problem: What problem is this initiative trying to address?

KinoSol’s primary mission is to decrease post-harvest loss for smallholder farmers in developing countries. In developing countries, fruit and vegetable production totals 727 million tonnes. However, loss of this produce can be as high as 69.5% from production to distribution. This equates to 444 million tonnes of edible food going to waste each year in developing countries, locations where you see 1 in 8 people going to bed hungry. KinoSol is providing a sustainable solution for this problem.

Solution Summary: What is the proposed solution? What do you see as its most promising aspects for creating shared value?

To tackle post-harvest loss, KinoSol’s developed the Orenda, a small-scale, solar-powered food dehydrator designed for farmers and families in developing countries. Each unit includes built-in storage, capable of lengthening shelf-life up to 6 months and allowing for later consumption of dehydrated goods. Orendas are capable of dehydrating fruits, vegetables, grains, and insects, using only solar energy. Orendas decrease drying times by up to 90% compared to traditional methods. KinoSol Orendas help families to have more food, better nutrition, and opportunities for additional income, thereby helping improve economics and livelihoods in rural communities.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Specify both the social and the environmental impact of your work

KinoSol Orendas help families to have more food, better nutrition, and opportunities for additional income. To date, KinoSol has distributed over 160 food dehydrators to 42 countries positively impacting the lives of over 900 people. The average family has seen a 5-25% increase in food available (an additional 211 lbs or 36,706 kcal of fruit and vegetables) through using the Orenda 2 times per month over the course of a year. The average Ugandan family has been able to generate $132 in 3-6 months from selling dehydrated outputs at local markets, increasing a family's annual income by 11%. Total food KinoSol has saved through field-testing units and commercial units is over 30,000 lbs, or roughly $135,100 based average global market price of raw fruit and vegetables.

Financial sustainability plan: How is this initiative financially supported? How will you ensure its financial sustainability long-term?

Orendas are sold via KinoSol’s website and shipped directly to the NGOs/Churches/Aid Organizations headquarters, in the United States or abroad. KinoSol reaches these organizations through conferences, word of mouth, and cold calls. Initial funding was secured through business plan competitions, totaling over $150,000. Sales of the Orenda launched in January of 2017. Earned currently represent income represents 50% KinoSol's annual budget, while the other 50% has come from business plan competitions. As of 2018, 100% of KinoSol's budget will be from sales.

Unique value proposition: What makes your initiative innovative? How does your project differ from other organizations working in the same field?

KinoSol Orendas were designed specifically for smallholder farmers and their families. KinoSol spent two years on research, development, and field-testing with end users in-country of the KinoSol Orenda, to ensure that our product met the customers needs. KinoSol strives for sustainable development and transparency. Partnerships will be turned down if the organization doesn't fulfill this criteria and sales won't be made to locations where Orendas won't function efficiently.

Founding story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that sparked the beginning of this initiative.

KinoSol was founded by 4 passionate individuals studying Global Resource Systems at Iowa State University. While entering a global business plan competition focused on feeding our growing population, the team drew on previous travels abroad and having witnessed the negatives impacts of food waste, to come up with a feasible solution. Looking at the current options for dehydration, comparing traditional methods, and DIY pizza box dehydrators, we knew we could improve upon the current technology available. This led to the formation of KinoSol and the KinoSol Orenda. From building ugly, but functioning prototypes in our parents wood shops to learning how to work with a manufacturer and create a commercial ready product, KinoSol has been fueled by the support of a global community to continue working to achieve a world where food isn't wasted.

Where did you hear about the Nestlé Creating Shared Value Prize?

  • Social media


Join the conversation:

Photo of Ben Jeffreys

Very cool Mikayla, do you do a larger size version so they can dry more at the same time?

Photo of Mouhamadou Moustapha Seck

I really appreciate your project and want to help in anything you need.

Photo of Fohla

Hello congratulations! Please have a look at the Kaskade modèle (from Nederland) wich is a larger format for crop dehydration. One thing I could not find in your presentation : are those farmers willing to pay? Good luck

Photo of Mégane Recegant

Great initiative, enabling at the same time tackling hunger issues, waste and creating additional incomes or savings for the families!
However, the business model holds on the fact that NGOs buy the products, I don't see how the project can grow and achieve huge impact if products can't be distributed or sold directly to families. Have you future plans to open your distribution strategy?

Photo of Duncan Marsh

This looks really fantastic, its a much needed intervention. I'm not sure though about your model for financial sustainability (there's not a great deal of space to explain it!), however, I'd urge you to look at how to maximise your sales - and not through the usual NGO / Church route. I'd be really interested to talk to you about getting this product to Malawi (assuming its not here already)! Well done!

Photo of Edivan Silva de Carvalho

Este desidratador de alimentos com energia solar é espetacular. Sem dúvida contribui para a segurança alimentar de populações em condições de vulnerabilidade. Como podemos trazer essa tecnologia para a população rural da Amazônia?