World Food Programme

Principle Instigator
Dr. Duncan Mbuge

The Eco-Friendly Cold Storage project deploys off-grid low-tech and low-cost cold storage solutions based on evaporative cooling technology in food markets for vegetables, fish, fruits, and meat.

In Sub-Saharan Africa, up to 35 percent of food is lost at the retail level. Globally, 1.3 billion metric tonnes of food costing the global economy close to US $940 billion each year go to waste due to inadequate handling and post-harvest losses.

Some value chains face higher losses; for example, post-harvest losses and waste for mangoes range between 40-50 percent. If leafy vegetables lose more than 3 percent of the original fresh weight, they are rendered unsalable. At the same time, existing solutions such as solar-powered cold storage rooms may not be available or affordable in some local contexts.

The Eco-Friendly Cold Storage project offers affordable, off-grid cold storage technology to increase the availability of fresh fruits and vegetables.  The technology uses zero Energy Brick Cooler (ZEBC) and Evaporative Charcoal Coolers (ECC) made from 100 percent locally available eco-friendly materials such as, river soil, invasive shrub to minimize environmental impact. 

Eco-Friendly Cold Storage promotes a community-driven approach at marketplaces such as shared service to increase affordability, scalability, and pathway for other initiatives, including the creation of Village Savings and Loans Associations.