Solar greenhouse technology for food security : a case study from Humla District, NW Nepal
journal contributionposted on 2012-01-01, 00:00 authored by Robert Fuller, A Zahnd
Food security is a significant issue for many people who live in remote mountain areas around the world. Most of these people are also poor because of the lack of opportunity to earn cash. Malnutrition is common because the harsh climate restricts production and access to fresh food. Simple conventional greenhouses can provide some improvement of growing conditions, but the benefits are limited because of the high heat losses from these structures. Solar greenhouses, however, which are designed to store some of the heat generated within the structure can overcome these limitations. This article describes the experiences of a nongovernmental organization that has been introducing community and family-owned solar greenhouses into the remote villages of Humla, a mountainous district of northwest Nepal prone to food insecurity. The overall result has been positive. Family-owned greenhouses, which avoid the issues of community ownership and operation, have been more successful. A validated computer model based on the first solar greenhouse has been used to predict the thermal performance of a new family-sized design. Training and education are vital to the success of solar greenhouse technology in remote mountain areas.