NIGERIA – Ecotutu, a tech company providing off-grid cooling solutions, has launched a solar-powered dual-purpose 3.75-ton capacity cold room in Sabongida market, Nasarawa State in a bid to address post-harvest losses.

The company announced in an event that the cold room will provide cooling-as-a-service, offering refrigeration solutions for fruits, vegetables, and fresh produce for the northern market.

“Ecotutu remains committed to its vision of pioneering energy-efficient cold chain solutions that transform the agricultural landscape in Nigeria and beyond,” Babajide Oluwase, the chief executive officer of Ecotutu, said.

“This endeavour in Sabongida represents a significant step towards achieving that vision, fostering economic growth, reducing post-harvest losses, and building a more resilient food system for the people of Northern Nigeria,” he added.

Michael Akinsete, co-founder, and chief marketing officer of Ecotutu, expressed enthusiasm for this milestone achievement.

He said that the launch represents a significant stride towards fulfilling Ecotutu’s mission of establishing 20 solar-powered cold rooms in major open markets across Northern and Southern Nigeria within the next 24 months.

This initiative is the result of a collaboration between Ecotutu and Husk Power, a mini-grid developer, facilitated through the Energizing Agriculture Program’s Agriculture-Energy Innovation Accelerator, a partnership by Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) and the Nigerian Rural Electrification Agency.

According to Olu Aruike, country director for Husk Power Systems in Nigeria, Husk, as the co-operator for the cold storage facility in Sabon Gida, is demonstrating a key aspect of its business model.

The company’s model is designed to seek out collaborations with willing stakeholders and partners in energy, food, water, and mobility to build thriving rural economies.

The Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet (GEAPP) also supported the program. The accelerator pairs rural mini grids with Nigerian entrepreneurs who help communities use power to improve their livelihoods.

“The Energizing Agriculture Program is proud to support Ecotutu and Husk Power in reducing food spoilage through cold storage,” Andrew Allee, the program manager, said.

Post-harvest losses have a significant impact on food security, especially in low- and middle-income countries and innovative solutions such as this are a critical need in the fresh produce sector.

For instance, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), post-harvest losses (PHL) can reach up to 40% for fruit and vegetables. 

In 2016, losses occurring from the farm to the retail stage (excluded) accounted for about 14% of food produced globally. 

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