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Tackling post harvest losses

We use solar powered cold rooms to help smallholders farmers store their produce to avoid post harvest losses.

Photo of Oluwamayowa

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Explain your project idea (2,000 characters)

There are millions of smallholders farmers in Africa whose job is affected by the lack of access to storage facilities. Farmers loose millions of dollars annually to post harvest losses because of the current ineffective method of produce preservation and storage which is simply use of clothes, leaf fonds, buckets and for retailers, abandonment at the point of sale.

Our solution, FoodHubs is a radical change from this old practice of preservation as it involves the use of an off grid solar powered cold rooms to help smallholders farmers store their produce to avoid post harvest losses. Our solution helps farmers extend the shelf life of their produce, reduce post harvest losses, increase their income, combat climate change, promote the Zero hunger goal of the SDG, and also promote responsible production and consumption.

FoodHubs gets its energy source from solar panels which are placed on the roof-top of the cold room (containers) and which feeds power to high capacity batteries, which supplies an inverter that powers highly effective and regulated refrigerating unit. We use a pay as you store business model on a daily basis for our farmer customers.

Who are the beneficiaries? (1,000 characters)

Our beneficiaries are smallholders farmers and market sellers living in rural and semi-urban areas in Africa. They are mostly poor and have an urgent need for our solution to prevent produce and financial loss. We offer them extension of the shelf life of their produce, reduction in food waste loss and increase in their income.

How is your idea unique? (1,000 characters)

Our approach is unique because it is off grid, easy to access and maintain, cheap for the intended users, and effective. It is a radical change from what farmers currently use which more or less contributes to the destruction of their produce. Our approach will be more successful because we carry along the relevant farmers, market, and other associations before installing our solution.

Idea Proposal Stage (choose one)

  • Prototype: I have done some small tests or experiments with prospective users to continue developing the idea.

Tell us more about your organization/company (1 sentence and website URL)

We use solar powered off grid cold rooms to help farmers/market retailers store their produce to avoid post harvest losses.

http://www.foodhubs.store

Expertise in sector

  • 3-5 years

Organization Filing Status

  • Yes, we are a registered company.

In 3-4 sentences, tell us the inspiration or story that encouraged you to start this project.

I studied agriculture as an undergrad and this problem is a nagging problem we have been trying to solve. I also live in a semi-urban area with close proximity to farmers and market sellers and I see their daily struggles with preservation hence the need to start this project.

Please explain how your selected topic areas are influenced, in the local context of your project (1,000 characters).

We help farmers prosper by helping them avoid post harvest losses which is a panacea for peace. Where there is economic insecurity as occasioned by inability to scale businesses as a result of unstoppable losses, the result is violence or insurrection. Also, helping to tackle post harvest losses is a direct way of combating climate change which helps the planet.

Who will work alongside your organization in the project idea? (1,000 characters)

We are going to work with all the relevant associations - farmers, market sellers, extension officers networks, community stakeholders and government agencies for sustainability sake.

Please share some of the top strengths identified in the community which your project will serve (500 characters)

There is tremendous pressure on the farmer's community we serve but their resilience, can do attitude and their ability to make use of existing local solutions are their easily identifiable strengths.

Geographic Focus

We plan to start in Nigeria with an expansion goal to other West African countries by 2019/2020

How many months are required for the project idea? (500 characters)

It depends on the number of hubs we want to build but a foodhub can be constructed in a month.

Did you submit this idea to our 2017 BridgeBuilder Challenge? (Y/N)

  • No

10 comments

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Photo of Abby Nydam
Team

Great idea! We are also working with small holder farmers, but in rural Bangladesh. We'd love your feedback since we are doing simliar work. Take a look...https://challenges.openideo.com/challenge/bridgebuilder2/ideas/accelerating-the-market-and-household-access-for-clean-energy-in-rural-bangladesh

Photo of Oluwamayowa
Team

Great great work you are doing. Thanks for dropping your comment. The prosperity of Smallholders farmers is very important to us as an organization and also crucial to the survival of the planet.

Photo of David / Thomas Svarrer / Høyer
Team

...

A side comment...

From our works with different farmers associations, I know that when you remove the farmers dependency of the agents & transportation - then they cannot extort the farmers anymore.

Many of those transporting the goods to the market are outright extortionists, and work in cartels. So, when a farmer can say to such a person: Just go, we will find other means of transport of our goods to the market - then this can bring the cost of transporting the farm goods down, and thereby ensure a more just and fair distribution of the payments from the shops - and thereby ensure that farmers are receiving a more fair share of the income.

So, on that note, your cooling system is indeed also good.

Photo of Oluwamayowa
Team

Thank you very much. Such a supportive organization your organization is!

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