To help combat food loss and increase food security in Africa, three entrepreneurs have launched AkoFresh, a service that provides solar-powered refrigerated storage to farmers and traders to help keep their food fresh. The company is already helping plenty of farmers and tradespeople, with scope to expand to five other Ghanaian districts and two more African countries within the next five years.
Both farmers and tradespeople will benefit from using AkoFresh storage in several ways. Firstly, they will be able to extend the shelf-life of their crops from 5 days to an incredible 21 days. Secondly, those using the service have the option of either paying a daily fee, or using a weekly subscription, allowing for more flexibility. If no cash is available, farmers can use crops to pay for the service instead of cash. Both of these benefits are allowing for farmers and tradespeople to reduce their perishable crop waste.
According to AkoFresh, each solar-powered refrigerated storage unit is reducing up to 16.5 tonnes of CO2 emissions per month, which will only increase as the company sets up an increasing amount of storage units. Likewise, their planned expansion should allow for the company to reach over 15,000 farmers and traders within the continent.
Another African startup, called Hello Tractor, also aims to help farmers from the region by letting them rent tractors on demand. Not only will this allow them to grow more food, it may also potentially help them to earn more money.