Our Research Mobile evaporative cooling rooms for vegetable preservation

Challenge:

Can we commercialize a cold storage chamber using evaporative cooling that is lower cost than the currently available technologies? Can we reduce post-harvest losses of fruits and vegetables for farmers in rural off-grid communities?

Research Strategy

  • Conduct prototype testing and computer modeling to continue to improve the forced-air evaporative cooling chamber performance and design.
  • Collaborate with existing cold storage providers and NGOs to pilot the technology with smallholder farmers in India and Kenya.
  • Identify key markets and approaches for scaling the commercialization of forced-air evaporative cooling chambers.

Project description

J-WAFS Solutions Program

In many countries across the world, a significant portion of the food produced (30-50%) is lost before it reaches the table. Forced-air evaporative cooling chambers have the potential to provide an effective, low-cost solution for postharvest fruit and vegetable storage in low-income regions with hot and dry climates. This innovative design, based on retrofitting shipping containers, will provide a lower-cost alternative to refrigerated cold rooms and a better-performing alternative to charcoal evaporative cooling chambers and non-climate-controlled environments. Access to improved fruit and vegetable storage will reduce food loss, enable farmers to sell their produce at a higher price at different times of day, and improve access to nutritious food in the community. This Solutions grant will support the deployment and testing of the storage chambers with rural farmers in Kenya and India in collaboration with two Kenyan social enterprises and an NGO in Gujarat, India.

Additional Details

Impact Areas

  • Food

Research Themes

  • Technology & Commercialization
  • Transforming Food Systems
  • Equity & Access

Year Funded

  • 2021

Grant Type

  • Solutions Grant

Status

  • Ongoing