What problem are you trying to solve?
Food losses amount to roughly US$ 310 billion in developing countries. Estimates from the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization and the World Bank show that up to 47 per cent of the $940 billion needed to eradicate hunger in sub-Saharan Africa by 2050 will be required for the post-harvest system. Fruits and vegetables, dairy products and tubers have the highest loss rates of any food in developing countries at 45-50% occurring at post-harvest and processing levels mainly at early stages of the food value chain and can be traced back to constraints in harvesting techniques as well as lack of storage and cooling facilities. Temperature control is the most important factor in reducing postharvest losses for fresh produce. Today, an estimated 470 million smallholder farmers in developing countries lose an average of 35 per cent of their income to food spoilage.
What is your solution to this problem?
Our solution offers:
- Smart Farm Manager(SFM) – SFM is an electronic farm diary that helps smallholder farmers record all phases of farming from planting through harvest to sales. It keeps all records – financial, staff, tools… in one secure place.
- Smart Farm Prices (SFP) -SFP empowers rural farmers with real-time produce prices across major cities. It provides farmers with data to effectively negotiate prices with merchants who normally pay them little leading to many farmers opting to throw away crop instead thus leading to post-harvest losses.
- Smart Farm Capital (SFC) – SFC helps smallholder farmers raise capital (loan or equity) by providing independent farm data from our sensors to help banks and microfinance evaluate the overall profitability of farms.
- Smart Farm Crowdfund (SFCF) -SFCF helps farmers crowdfund capital from local donors to whom they can deliver produce after harvest.
- Smart Farm micro-Insure (SFI) -SFI helps farmers micro-insure their farms on phone.
What is your latest update on your innovation?
We are also pioneering an innovative business model to enable more women to own and operate the solar-powered cold storage units as independent micro-franchisee entrepreneurs in the rural areas, through a “Hubs and Spokes” model.
Women Micro- franchisee: Through a Hubs and Spokes model rural women will receive training to own and operate the solar-powered cold storage units in their communities; Here’s how it works;
Hubs: First, we own and operate best practice solar-powered cold storage “hub” centres that provide quality food preservation & storage services for smallholder farmers in rural areas. These centres are designed to be best-practice models for the community, providing smallholder farmers with all the renewable energy building blocks they need to thrive.
Spokes: Using our “hub” centres as a model, Solar Freeze has launched a social-franchising program to support local women (who we call our Mamapreneurs) with training, resources & on-going mentorship to start or grow