Nigerian company develops solar-powered outdoor fridges to help farmers

In a bid to save foods and farm produce from spoiling, a Nigerian based company founded by Nnaemeka Ikegwuonu has developed an outdoor powered solar fridge called ColdHubs. The fridge is expected to help reduce post-harvest loss for small farmers by 80 percent.

According to United Nations, in developing countries food waste and losses occur mainly at early stages of the food value chain and can be traced back to financial, managerial and technical constraints in harvesting techniques as well as storage and cooling facilities.

Throughout the continent, energy and power remains a critical issue, which makes running a business and the general cost of living higher in comparison to other parts of the world. Ikegwuonu’s design which is an easy-to-set-up, prefabricated, walk-in cold room will provide a 24hours off-grid storage and preservation for perishable food such as fruits and vegetables.

ColdHubs is made of 120mm insulating cold room panels to retain cold with a solar panel mounted on the rooftop. The energy from the solar panels would be stored in high capacity batteries, which feeds the inverters that supplies current to the refrigerating unit. The farmer will have to place their produce in clean plastic creates which are stacked inside the cold room.

The company has also made it possible for farmers to have access to this facility with a flexible offer known as pay-as-you-store subscription model. These farmers pay a daily flat fee for each crate of food they store.

It is also worthy to note that last month ColdHubs was among the 14 innovators selected through an open, global application process by the United Nations, to help address the 17 Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.

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