Webinar: Insights from the Global LEAP Awards Off-Grid Cold Chain Challenge

Ruth Kimani, Hannah Blair

On 30 June, CLASP as the Efficiency for Access Co-Secretariat and Energy 4 Impact hosted a webinar on the findings and experiences from the inaugural Global LEAP Awards Off-Grid Cold Chain Challenge(OGCCC). The OGCCC was an international competition to identify and promote the most energy-efficient, sustainable and cost-effective technologies that can meet the cold storage requirements for fresh fruits, vegetables and dairy products in sub-Saharan Africa.

The webinar provided an overview of the cold chain market opportunity in emerging economies and the cold storage technologies and business models that participated in the Challenge. The four finalists deployed their units in Kenya (2), Nigeria and Uganda, but faced significant logistical, operational and technological challenges during the implementation stage of the competition. Only four of the twelve OGCCC finalists were able to deploy their units.

Meet the four finalists: FreshBox, Ecolife, ColdHubs and Ecozen Solutions.

Through the Competition, the Efficiency for Access Coalition identified the need for continued R&D investment and support for companies developing high-quality and affordable cold storage technologies suitable across the agricultural value chain. Two of the units were used by farmers for dairy and herb storage, while the other two operated out of markets and offered rent space for local vendors to keep produce fresh in hot, ambient climates. In order to develop suitable solutions for disparate cold storage use cases, more support is needed for pilots that test workable business models for scale.

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