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Omega Logistics Project

Omega Logistics is rural based cold storage warehousing for perishable foodstuffs to minimize post-harvest handling wastage.

Photo of RainbowGate Foundation
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EXPLAIN YOUR IDEA

In Nigeria, the problem is particularly acute as agriculture is by far the largest employer -- accounting for two-thirds of the labor force. The lack of electricity in rural areas makes it fiendishly difficult to keep food cold.Omega Logistics is a warehousing business that will provide rural based solar powered cold storage for perishable foodstuffs to minimize post-harvest handling wastages by temporarily storing safely the perishable foodstuffs while in the process of arranging their transport to the final markets. We are introducing this technology to Nigeria's rural areas that are home to 87% of Nigerian yet currently the still extremely limited cold storage is urban based. Cold storage in Nigeria has been used primarily for common "dead foods" such as meat and fish where they are frozen but our plan is to introduce cold storage for common "living foods" such as sweet bananas, plantains, passion fruits, mangoes, cabbages, pineapples, oranges and others.

WHO BENEFITS?

Our target market is located in Nigeria's rural upcountry districts of north-west where the main economic activity is agriculture. The majority of our target customers are small holder farmers. Our total customer base for the three districts is approximately 800,000 people.

WHERE WILL YOUR IDEA BE IMPLEMENTED?

Our idea will be implemented in Nigeria

ARE YOU IMPLEMENTING IN AN ELIGIBLE COUNTRY?

  • Yes

EXPERTISE IN SECTOR

  • I’ve worked in a sector related to my idea for over a year

EXPERIENCE IN IMPLEMENTATION COUNTRY(IES)

  • Yes, for more than one year.

Food insecurity is a challenge in Nigeria and Africa. It is partly caused by the way in which the farmers handle food stuffs after harvesting. After harvesting when the perishable foods are in plenty, farmers are faced with three choices; firstly consuming as much as possible and letting the remainder go bad, secondly using ineffective methods of preservation like sun drying that destroy the quality of the perishable foods, or thirdly selling them to middle men at very low prices making losses despite their hard work on farms. This means that many times when production is low perhaps during the dry season, the small holder farmers have no savings and do not have enough money to afford buying food or the foodstuffs available on the market are too expensive for many people to afford forcing them to starve since they cannot get enough income or food from a particular agricultural season to sustain them continuously. This is the root cause of food insecurity in Nigeria which is more profound in rural areas. In Nigeria, the problem is particularly acute as agriculture is by far the largest employer -- accounting for two-thirds of the labor force. The lack of electricity in rural areas makes it fiendishly difficult to keep food cold.

Omega Logistics is a warehousing project that will provide rural based solar powered cold storage warehousing for perishable foodstuffs to minimize post-harvest handling wastage. The perishable foods may include sweet bananas, plantains, passion fruits, mangoes, cabbages, pineapples, oranges and others. The perishables are temporarily stored safely while in the process of arranging their transport to the final markets where they are sold at good prices for reasonable profit. Each of the perishable foodstuffs will be stored under its nutritionally recommended conditions to ensure its longevity before it reaches its final consumer. The cold storage will be primarily solar powered. Energy efficient cold storage is an essential element to a sustainably designed local food system. Cold storage allows local farmers to provide seasonal nutrition to the community year round at a low cost. Local farmers need to find ways to increase profitability while adhering to sustainability principles. The optimal cold storage solution will allow farmers to store and sell their products year round, with minimal energy use.

Our first step to carrying out this proposal will be to work with the Open Ideo design team to roll out up to 5 modular pilots in the north-western Nigeria, to give farmers an opportunity to test them for at least $0.50 per day. With this model, farmers will also have the option of forming co-operatives to buy their own, with subsidized repayment plans. We anticipate they will see swift and substantial returns since a basket of tomatoes sells for $60 when they are in the best condition. Farmers lose 50% due to lack of storage - $30 a basket. For 50 cents they can eliminate the loss completely.

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Photo of Emelia
Team

Well its good that this project will help handling wastages, this kind of Logistics is very important especially to perishable goods. If they will not do this kind of logistics project this will lead decrease their profit and this will lead them to huge penalty. This will also help boost the economy and their target market. Logistics can be very critical and crucial here and this must be very definite in order to have a good process.


Emelie Ingram, Logistics
BR International Value Added Services Logistics
http://www.brint.com.au/warehousing-distribution/china-value-added-services

Photo of Abuchi Kal
Team

There is a Nigerian technology social enterprise, that  designs and commission solar powered cold rooms for African countries to reduce food spoilage - ColdHubs (www.coldhubs.com).You may wanna talk to them, seems like a similar idea. 

Photo of OpenIDEO
Team

Congrats on this being today's Featured Contribution!

Photo of Felix Kimaru
Team

RainbowGate Foundation 

I am not an expert in this sector. You can discard this if it doesn't make any sense. 

I was born and raised in upcountry. I know the importance of this solution. In most cases the middlemen and women would delay to pick our milk because either the market is saturated or because we want to wait until the prices increases a little bit before we sell. This is to just let you know that I utmost importance of this. 

I have an idea to make this scale to every country in Africa. Instead of having one per community, try offering affordable storage to the individual farmers instead of them sharing. I know the cost of the storage facility could be high but you can let the farmers pay a monthly/seasonal fee till the day they will have paid in full. 

A close friend of mine called Andrew runs http://sanivation.com/. They supply mobile toilets to households in Naivasha Kenya. Each household gets a toilet but they dont pay it infull. Each month, a household pays $7 and that goes towards contributing to a kitty that will eventually enable them own one. Read about the Sanivation model.  Also read about M-Kopa Model in Kenya here http://www.m-kopa.com/press-release/m-kopa-solar-brightens-off-grid-solar-market/. 

Lets discuss 

Photo of RainbowGate Foundation
Team

Hi Felix,

Thank you for your contribution and for recognizing the importance of this solution. Looking forward to working with you