This Entrepreneur Is Using Solar-Powered Fridges to Reduce Food Waste in Africa

This Entrepreneur Is Using Solar-Powered Fridges to Reduce Food Waste in Africa

What is Cold Hub and how is it helping people in Africa? Well, Farming and fishing are the livelihoods of millions of people in rural Africa. 

However, due to the heat and humidity of the region, up to 50% of harvested food is wasted to spoilage.

Nigerian entrepreneur Nnaemeka Ikegwuonu saw this problem among his people. 

“I asked the farmers what can be done to reduce the waste and they said they will need some form of storage inside the market, to store and sell later. It then struck me that all our markets [have] no storage for fresh fruits and vegetables,” Ikegwuonu told Global Citizen.

He invented the Cold Hub; a solar-powered walk-in refrigerator where local farmers and fishermen can store their haul for just $1 per day.

The Cold Hub extends the shelf life of perishables by up to 21 days reducing food spoilage and increasing profits of clients by an average of 25%. 

ColdHubs currently serves over 3,500 users and their 24 Hubs have saved over 20,000 tons of food from going bad. They have also created over 50 jobs, most of them for women. 

Ikegwuonu and his team recently won the 2020 Waislitz Global Citizen Disruptor Award for their work. 

According to Ikegwuonu, “we will use the award prize to build two ColdHubs in two fruits and vegetable markets, serving 200 users, saving 3,285 tons of food from spoilage yearly, increase the income of 200 users, and create four new jobs for women.”