ColdHubs: How solar-powered chilly storage is maintaining meals recent in Nigeria

That is why Nnaemeka Ikegwuonu determined to take a recent strategy to meals waste. He is the founding father of ColdHubs, which offers solar-powered meals storage models designed for markets and farms.

The 39-year-old has gained numerous awards for the initiative and has simply been introduced because the joint winner of the $1.5 million AYuTe Africa Problem, for promising younger innovators who’re utilizing expertise to reimagine meals manufacturing on the continent.

Formally launched in 2015, ColdHubs now has 54 models in 22 states throughout Nigeria. Greater than 5,250 smallholder farmers, retailers, and wholesalers use its chilly rooms and in 2020, the corporate saved 40,000 tons of meals, decreasing waste and growing farmers’ earnings.

“That is meals meant for human consumption that we usually lose alongside the availability chain, both throughout harvesting, transportation, or distribution,” says Ikegwuonu. “The mission actually is to scale back meals spoilage as a result of lack of chilly meals storage at key factors alongside the meals provide chain.”

Tackling a meals waste disaster

Nigeria is ranked 100 out of 113 nations on the World Meals Safety Index. Over 88 million folks within the nation face meals insecurity and 12% are undernourished.
The issue is not a scarcity of meals, although: it is an extra of waste. An alarming 40% of the meals Nigeria produces yearly is misplaced earlier than it even reaches customers. That is equal to 31% of its whole land use, in response to the World Financial institution, and accounts for five% of the nation’s greenhouse gasoline emissions.
How floating islands can make urban waterways green and clean
Ikegwuonu’s ColdHubs are 10-foot-square chilly storage models which hold produce recent for as much as 21 days. Standard chilly storage models of this dimension can be powered by diesel mills and require 20 to 30 liters of diesel every single day, says Ikegwuonu — however by utilizing photo voltaic panels as a substitute, he says that throughout all its models, the corporate prevents over 1 million kilograms of CO2 getting into the ambiance annually, whereas powering the models 24/7.
In accordance with the UN, meals waste accounts for as much as 10% of world greenhouse gasoline emissions, so discovering options to scale back waste may very well be important within the combat in opposition to local weather change.

Storing a crate of produce within the ColdHub prices round 25 cents per day, and has helped farmers and retailers double their month-to-month earnings, says Ikegwuonu: “This has been achieved by promoting produce that was beforehand thrown away, offered off on the proper value.”

ColdHubs are now available at farms and markets in 22 Nigerian states.

Scaling up

Seeking to the longer term, Ikegwuonu says ColdHubs can be growing expertise to freeze produce, for fishing communities within the Niger Delta. “A lot of the coastal communities do not have entry to vitality in any respect,” he says, including that these freezer storage models would even have the capability to supply ice blocks.

Ikegwuonu additionally needs to increase his social impression by creating gender parity and jobs in a rustic the place round 35% of all employment is in agriculture, and 90% of rural livelihoods rely upon it.

“We’ve been in a position to create about 66 new jobs for girls,” he says. “Many of those girls have turn out to be empowered and alter brokers of their households and communities.”

Ikegwuonu says his present focus is on increasing the enterprise additional in Nigeria — however within the subsequent decade, he has his sights set on different nations fighting related meals waste issues.

“The massive dream for us is to resolve the issue of meals spoilage in Nigeria, and develop our expertise and repair to different African nations which have these challenges,” he says.

Nature's ticking time bomb?
Nature's ticking time bomb?

Supply hyperlink