Coastal Communities

ColdHubs

Solar-powered walk-in cold rooms for fishermen and farmers in coastal communities

Team Lead

Nnaemeka Ikegwuonu

Hear the Pitch

The Problem

Most coastal communities in Nigeria’s Niger-Delta region are completely off the grid. Without refrigeration, fishermen must quickly dry or smoke fish to preserve their catch, decreasing nutritional value. Unfortunately, this also limits their income, because dry fish sells at a lower price than fresh fish.

The Solution

Through their energy-efficient, solar-powered cold rooms, ColdHubs brings refrigeration to off-grid communities, enabling fishermen and farmers to preserve perishable food. These cold rooms extend the shelf life of perishables from two to 21 days, giving farmers, retailers, and wholesalers more time to sell produce at a higher price—boosting their income.  

Cold rooms are designed specifically for off-grid use and hold approximately three tons of food arranged in neatly stacked plastic crates. Rooftop solar panels generate enough power to run the hubs in all weather conditions, and an energy-efficient monoblock refrigeration unit provides reliable 24/7 autonomous refrigeration.

Market Opportunity

  • An estimated 6,000 tons of fish are harvested every day in the Niger-Delta, but only about 2,000 tons are sold fresh.
  • A 20 kilogram bag of fresh bonga fish is sold for between US $20 and $40, but without storage facilities, fishermen are forced to sell the same bag for between US $8 and $15.
  • By renting storage space for only US $1 a night, users will be able to sell their fish for a much higher price, greatly increasing their income.

Organization Highlights

  • Deployed five ColdHubs and will deploy an additional five by the end of 2018
  • Awards: 2018 Entrepreneurs in Resilience Award, Swiss Re Foundation

Existing Partnerships

ColdHubs currently partners with numerous organizations to reach various technical goals, such as:

  • Resource, scientific, and equipment partners for supply needs
  • Global Cold Chain Alliance which facilitates understanding of the latest trends in cold chain management
  • Institute for Air Handling and Refrigeration in Dresden, Germany for design consultation on their energy efficiency

Organization Goals

ColdHubs seeks to achieve the following goals:

  • Raise $150,000 to construct four ColdHubs along coastal Nigeria
  • Build a stronger public relations presence
  • Develop a mobile payment platform to replace a cash-based business as the organization scales  

Partnership Goals

To reach the goals mentioned above, ColdHubs seeks partners to:

  • Provide investment and grants for their expansion in Nigeria and the larger Niger delta
  • Assist in the development of a mobile payment platform under a new model or integration with an existing model

Stats

ColdHubs has saved 5,722 tons of food from spoilage and increased the household income of 320 small farmers, retailers, and wholesalers.

Solver Team

Organization Type:
For-profit

Headquarters:
Owerri, Nigeria

Stage:
Growth

Working in:
Nigeria

Employees:
14

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