Adekoyejo Kuye, a Nigerian clean energy specialist, co-created the Coldbox Store to help farmers in Enugu, Nigeria, where their first installation is already in use in a local market.
Sub-Saharan Africa has the lowest food security in the world despite an estimated 60% of its population being farmers. Food waste is a major challenge, with as much as 45% losses recorded, largely due to unreliable cold chains.
In order to run on an entirely off-grid system, Coldbox Store was designed to be extremely efficient. Temperatures are adjustable, digital sensors reduce power consumption rates, insulation prevents energy loss and variable speed compressors adjust to the cooling needs in the room at any given time.
The pilot Coldbox Store takes up to 5,000 kg of farm produce and runs on a 7.7 kW solar installation with a battery storage system. Farmers don’t have to own a Coldbox Store. They can access services on a pay-as-you-store subscription model, making it more affordable to use. The business also offers a distribution service to help farmers access high-value markets in bigger cities.
Kuye and his team believe that improving the cold chain and access to energy will unlock untapped agricultural potential both in Nigeria and across Africa. The team is also building a digital marketplace to help improve efficiency in fresh produce cold-chain supply systems.
“Our goal is to build Africa’s largest network of reliable cold storage infrastructure, backed by a digitised supply chain that improves efficiency at every step.”