human ingenuity

Walk-in Cold Room Startup that Won the MIT Solve Challenge 2018

Nigeria has a huge and growing population of 200 million and most live in the boom cities like Lagos, Kano and Ibadan. It is a constant battle to feed its own people and maintain an export business. Agriculture is the biggest  sector of the economy  and employs nearly two-thirds of the national workforce.

The main problem with foods grown in Africa like fruit and veg is that they are highly perishable and food spoils because of mishandling, poor transportation or just from the heat. It is estimated that an incredible 40% of food is ruined post-harvest and during processing. Part of the problem is the lack of cold storage.  Regular refrigerators use freon, hardly eco-positive, and are expensive to buy and need a constant and pricey power supply.

ColdHubs is the brainchild of Nnaemeka C. Ikegwuonu – CEOwho founded his company in 2012.  Cold Hubs are 100% solar-powered walk-in cold rooms installed in markets and farm clusters, for small-holder farmers, retailers and wholesalers, to store and preserve food.

This is an entirely sustainable business and can increase food shelf life from 2 days to 21. This is surely revolutionary. What is means is that a food traders in a Lagos market can keep and then sell their fruit or perishable items for days rather than just hours and above all not see virtually half of it spoiled.

This is not the solution to the problem of African hunger but is an effective factor in the war against waste – one of the great global challenges.

Cold Hubs has also acted as a catalyst in creating more job opportunities for women.The FAO reports that by giving women farmers access to the same resources as men, the number of people starving globally could drop by 100 million to 150 million.

The company aoperates five cold room operations in five locations in the country. Three are located in Owerri, two in Kano and the fifth in Lagos with plans to take the innovation continent-wide.

ColdHub photos source from website: