AFRICA – InspiraFarms, a global precooling and cold chain technology company, has received a EUR 5 million (USD 5.39 million) investment from InfraCo Africa, in a groundbreaking alliance with Enterprise Project Ventures (EPV), to expand its Cooling solutions across Kenya, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Ghana.
Announced on December 10, 2023, which is also COP28 Agri/Food Day, the investment by the pivotal arm of the Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG) is set to revolutionize the landscape of cold storage solutions in key African countries transforming the post-harvest scenario and tackle food loss challenges.
Omar Jabri, InfraCo Africa’s new Head of Business Development, expressed enthusiasm, stating, “We are pleased to be making our first investment into ‘first-mile’ cold storage.”
This initiative aims to provide crucial pre-cooling and cold storage facilities closer to farming areas, mitigating post-harvest losses and generating quality rural jobs while enhancing the marketability of produce for export.
The investment aligns with InspiraFarms Cooling’s vision to bridge the gap in quality and standards for African producers seeking entry into global markets.
Julian Mitchell, CEO of InspiraFarms Cooling, emphasized, “I am so pleased to welcome InfraCo Africa’s investment into InspiraFarms Cooling, as there is a complete alignment of mission.”
He highlighted the significance of this investment, symbolizing a shared commitment to inclusive climate-smart infrastructure development, enabling easier access to cold chain solutions for agribusinesses across the continent.
InspiraFarms Cooling’s innovative approach introduces an ‘Operating Asset Model’ that transcends traditional financing barriers faced by smaller agribusinesses.
Mitchell noted, “The investment and collaboration with InfraCo Africa will help build a financing product to bridge this gap, by making the investment in cold chain more affordable to improve access for agribusinesses across Africa.”
The ‘Cooling-as-a-Service’ model, a pioneering concept in the agricultural landscape, offers clients affordable access to cold storage by paying fees based on throughput, thereby democratizing access to high-quality cold storage.
With agriculture representing a significant 35% of Africa’s GDP and employing a substantial portion of the continent’s workforce, addressing post-harvest losses becomes pivotal.
Furthermore, only 5% of African fresh produce enters the cold chain, leaving 30-50% of farm production lost after harvest.
InspiraFarms Cooling aims to reduce these losses significantly through energy-efficient cold rooms powered by hybrid solutions, enabling up to 25% energy savings and contributing to overall resilience against climate risks.
This strategic investment by InfraCo Africa is expected to fund a minimum of five InspiraFarms Cooling facilities, which will serve as pilot initiatives.
These facilities are anticipated to generate vital data supporting the efficacy of the ‘Cooling-as-a-Service’ model, propelling the business towards further scalability and replication across diverse markets.
This investment’s significance lies in its potential to revolutionize cold storage solutions for African agribusinesses, tackling post-harvest losses and unlocking access to global markets.
InspiraFarms Cooling’s ‘Cooling-as-a-Service’ model, fueled by InfraCo Africa’s investment, promises a transformative shift in addressing food loss challenges, fostering economic growth, and bolstering sustainability in the region’s agriculture sector.
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