The cool innovation that helps farmers in Kenya reduce food waste

  • Many small farmers in Kenya do not have access to cold stores, which can lead to product wastage.
  • Small farmers of avocado, mango and French beans are now testing the use-based cold storage of the Kenyan company SokoFresh.
  • Plans for 400 cold stores in five years could increase the incomes of 35,000 farmers.
  • SokoFresh is a member of The Circulars Accelerator on UpLink, an initiative that helps circular economy entrepreneurs scale their innovations.

A company in Kenya uses solar energy to help smallholders keep harvested produce cool and avoid food waste.

Smallholders of avocados, mangoes and beans in Kenya are helping test the SokoFresh model, which manages mobile cold stores that are 100% solar powered.

By paying a small amount (1 Kenya shilling) per kilogram on a levy basis, farmers or buyers of products can access cold storage at low cost if required.

About 90% of Kenya’s agricultural products come from smallholders who do not have cold storage solutions for large producers. This means that many products spoil after the harvest in outside temperatures.

“More than 30% of all food produced for human consumption worldwide is lost or wasted,” says SokoFresh. “And food losses in Africa occur almost exclusively in the production and sales stage.”

Farmers using the model can earn up to 50% more from their harvest, while buyers get more and better quality products.

The logistics effort is also reduced, as trucks pick up full loads that have been stored in the cold stores by several farmers.

Enviu, the Netherlands-based impact venture organization behind SokoFresh, hopes to have a network of 400 cold stores over the next five years. This would help 35,000 farmers, create 3,000 new jobs in rural areas and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Agricultural food waste

14 percent of food is wasted.

Image: statesman

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, around 14% of food is lost after harvest on farms as well as during transport, storage, processing and wholesale. This food is worth more than $ 400 billion a year.

UN General Secretary António Guterres described food loss and waste as “ethical outrage” last year.

“In a world with enough food to feed everyone everywhere, 690 million people continue to go hungry and 3 billion cannot afford a healthy diet,” he said.

By 2030, the UN member states have committed to halving food waste and reducing food loss under Goal 12 for Sustainable Development.

According to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, a circular economy organization, changing the global food system will be key to tackling climate change, creating healthy cities, and rebuilding biodiversity. This can be achieved through the procurement of regeneratively (and possibly locally) grown food, the development and marketing of healthier products and the optimal use of food.

SokoFresh is a member of The Circulars Accelerator, an initiative that helps entrepreneurs scale innovations that help the world move towards a circular economy – where waste is eliminated and resources are reused.

UpLink is a digital platform for crowdsourcing innovation to address the world’s most pressing challenges.

It is an open platform that is intended to appeal to everyone who wants to make a contribution to the global common good. The core objective is to connect the best innovators with networks of decision makers who can implement the changes necessary for the next decade. As a global platform, UpLink serves to aggregate and guide ideas and effective activities and to establish connections to scale-up impact.

UpLink is hosted by the World Economic Forum and developed in collaboration with Salesforce, Deloitte and LinkedIn.

There are currently 17 companies in the The Circulars Accelerator 2021 Cohort. The six-month remote program is led by Accenture in collaboration with the UpLink platform of the World Economic Forum, Anglo American, Ecolab and Schneider Electric and includes expert workshops on the circular economy, coaching modules, mentoring, networking opportunities, investor engagement and support from accelerator- Teams.

Comments are closed.