Did you know that solving food spoilage would feed 1 billion more people in Africa by 2050? According to the Rockefeller Foundation, food loss results in losses in income to the tune of 15% or more for 470 million smallholder farmers, retailers, processors and buyers. It is further estimated that small farmers and retailers suffer a 25% reduction in their income due to loss of value of their fruits and vegetable harvests.
FreshBox is a walk-in cold room that provides 24/7 storage and preservation of perishable foods. They are installed in markets and farms within the reach of farmers and retailers. Cold room temperature of 0°C to 15°C extend the freshness of fruits, vegetables and other perishable food from 2 days to 21 days making it easy for the retailers to buy in wholesale and sell till the last unit.
We employ women to hire out fruits and vegetables storage crates to farmers and retailers at a rate of less than $1 per crate per day. The farmers then fill the crates with their perishable produce which is then stored in the FreshBox. A single FreshBox of size 5m*3m*2m can hold up to 100 crates.
The Freshbox is solar-powered making it accessible to farmers who are not connected to the electricity grid hence reducing reliance on electricity and other fossil fuels. By increasing food shelf life we are able to maximize on farm produce and reduce global food spoilage. We measure our impact by the number of farmers and retailers served as well as tons of produce preserved.
So far we are running a pilot program with 5 fruits and vegetables retailers at Ngara Market in Nairobi and we have engaged over 100 farmers and 200 fruits and vegetables vendors who have shown complete willingness to participate in the rollout phase of the program within Nairobi and Kiambu counties.
With $5,000 we will be able to purchase two addition FreshBox units within one month and increase our capacity to serve over 200 additional fresh produce farmers and retailer.
Blogpost and picture submitted by John Mbindyo (Kenya) – john[at]freshbox.co.ke
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