Africa-UK AgriFood Innovation Mission Week 3 Project Pitch Winner: ‘The Village Cold Store’
Posted on 22/07/2020
There are many issues in sub-Saharan Africa with food waste. Over a third of freshly picked fruit and vegetable crops are lost by the time they are packaged. Pests, poor storage, haphazard transporting with stacked and crammed in crates all contribute to the degradation and damage of otherwise perfectly good fresh food. Crop bruising from handling by machinery or labour during harvesting can also seriously shorten shelf-life as the bruising starts the decay process. Many people try to increase insect and disease protection first so that small farmers get higher saleable yields. In reality, extra yield produces an over supply situation at harvest time therefore reducing farm-gate prices.
GEden’s objective therefore is to develop a low cost cold storage building using as many local materials as possible to enable farmers and villagers to store, produce and minimise the need to sell all the crop immediately after harvesting. Quality storage facilities will give longer selling seasons allowing farmers to gain higher incomes. With funding and additional support, GEden can achieve many of their aims and goals.
What is The Village Cold Store and how can it help?
The Village Cold Store is a multi-purpose building as not only does it aim to extend the shelf-life of perishable goods, but also it aims to identify where the damage takes place in real-time using an electronic sensor called ‘ImpactTrack’. This is vital during the handling and transport stage.
The crops will also be protected within the cold store using Plant Tonic 9 (PT9) EU food grade product which when dry, forms a protective barrier to prevent disease.
GEden will aim to employ underutilised labour, stay at home mothers, disabled and vulnerable people for jobs such as online monitoring and processing of inventory, orders and deliveries.
Used and abandoned tyres will be used for construction and to build insulated walls for the cold store, therefore recycling what may have been burned (causing air pollution), left to waste (causing litter).
GEden have indicated that every village in Nigeria needs a cold storage system and are well on the way to supplying this goal. Any further funding would indeed accelerate the project.
Africa-UK AgriFood Innovation Mission - Week 3 Pitch Competition: Chimaobi Nwachukwu, 'The Village Cold Store'.