Ecotutu, a startup accelerating off-grid cooling solutions, is set to launch a solar-powered cold storage infrastructure, to help extend the shelf-life of perishable produce. The launch, according to the Co-Founder and Chief Marketing Officer, Ecotutu, Michael Akinsete, the initiative was to provide market-led solutions to post-harvest losses by causing wastage of fresh produce.
He said the mission of Ecotutu is to democratise access to affordable and reliable cold storage solutions in Africa, stressing that post-harvest losses remain a major challenge confronting the Nigerian agricultural sector for so long. “Nigerian farmers, aggregators, and retailers manage up to 23million metric tons of fresh fruits and other vegetables worth $4 billion annually, yet the country loses between 35 and 45 per cent of these due to post-harvest issues during storage and distribution”, he said. Akinsete noted that the firm provides a solution to post-harvest losses through its flagship ‘pay-as-you-chill’ model by offering cooling and logistics services, and facilitating marketplace opportunities for retailers and wholesalers, without the need for high upfront costs.
According to him, the cooling facility helps extend the shelf-life of perishable produce from two to 21 days, and reduces post-harvest loss by 85 per cent. “Each unit of Ecotutu’s solution eliminates food waste and preserves the economic value of food, enabling farmers to take a more significant share of their harvest to market. And more importantly, it boosts the confidence of the value chain players to remain in the food business”. Also, the Founder and Chief Executive of Ecotutu, Babajide Oluwase, said that the solar-powered cooling infrastructure was designed, developed, and deployed by his organisation, saying that for the Ecotutu Hub, his organisation was working with Self Chill, which is it’s cooling technology partner based in Germany, adding that the hub is 100 per cent solar-powered with a combination of renewable and thermal power to provide non-stop cooling without the use of batteries.