Thirty percent of the food produced globally is lost post-harvest. Chilling harvested crops reduces spoilage, thus improving the income of each person who grows, harvests, transports, or sells agricultural products. For some agricultural products like milk and cut flowers, cold storage is critical to accessing profitable regional, national, or international markets, but a lack of access to reliable grid power has hindered the introduction of conventional cold storage technologies.
Powering Agriculture awardees and other innovators have been working to introduce new cold storage technologies designed specifically for off-grid and weak-grid markets. Though they are still working on customer identification, technology development, and the creation of a compelling value proposition, innovative technologies are emerging that promise to increase farmer income and productivity.
This case study highlights successes and challenges associated with introducing clean energy-powered cold storage equipment into developing communities and provides recommendations for donors and technology providers wishing to promote usage of cold storage in these communities.