KENYA – Baridi and FarmWorks, have collaborated with The International Potato Center (CIP), and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), to launch the first-ever sweet potato solar cold storage facility in Mwea County.

Situated on FarmWorks Agriculture fields, this innovative project is a collaborative effort between key players in the agricultural sector, with Inficold developing the 5MT preservation asset and Baridi overseeing its assembly.

This facility not only represents a crucial step forward in addressing food security challenges but also leverages solar power to transform cold storage solutions.

Baridi, which has consistently made large strides in providing cold chain solutions in the region, recently emerged as the winner at the #Gender4Climate pitch event, securing a significant award of USD 40,000 along with acceleration support and technical assistance.

Baridi is dedicated to linking markets, agribusiness processors, and cold chain stakeholders with affordable solar-powered cooling solutions.

This approach not only saves energy but also minimizes the manufacturing footprint, contributing to sustainable and eco-friendly agricultural practices.

The solar cold storage facility comes at a critical time when the agricultural sector is grappling with the challenges posed by climate change and evolving market demands.

According to a report by the Alliance for an Energy Efficient Economy modernization of cold storage can lead to significant benefits. 

For example, in West Bengal, upgrading cold storages could reduce potato losses by approximately 0.38 million metric tons and decrease energy requirements by about 25%, resulting in a monetary benefit of around INR 662 crores (USD 84.24 million) per year.

Similarly, in West Bengal, modernizing cold storages could avoid approximately 3.6 lakh metric tons of potato losses, leading to a monetary benefit of INR 566 crores per year.

Moreover, it is estimated that 14 billion cooling devices will be needed to meet demands by 2050, four times than the use today.

The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) has outlined key service lines to address challenges and opportunities in the cooling sector.

These include supporting the transition to climate-friendly refrigerants, formulating national cooling action plans (NCAPs), promoting integrated energy solutions, advocating for district cooling, and endorsing sustainable cold chain solutions.

The UNDP’s initiatives, along with projects like the solar cold storage facility in Mwea County, highlight the global commitment to advancing sustainable practices in the agriculture and cold storage sectors.

The collaboration between CIP, USDA, Inficold, and Baridi exemplifies the power of partnerships in driving positive change and fostering a greener, more sustainable agricultural landscape.

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