ColdHubs is a modular, solar-powered, walk-in cold room, where farmers can buy storage through a pay-as-you-go system to preserve their perishable produce.
ColdHubs installs cold rooms in food markets and at farms, allowing farmers to keep their produce fresh by stacking it in clean crates inside the rooms. The rooms are solar powered and big enough to walk inside. The rooftop solar panels generate electricity that is stored in high-capacity batteries to power the refrigerating unit. Insulating panels retain the cold to keep the rooms energy efficient. Farmers using ColdHubs are offered a flexible pay-as-you-store subscription model. In preparation for storage, farmers pack their perishable foods into crates, and they pay a daily $0.50 fee for each crate stored. So far, 10 cold rooms are in operation, and 50 more were planned for 2016.
Why you should care
In developing countries, approximately 40% of total food production is lost before it reaches the market, hitting small farmers without access to cold storage the hardest. By providing affordable, off-grid, solar-powered cold storage in walk-in stations, ColdHubs reduces food waste and enables small farmers to increase their income by selling a larger proportion of their produce.