On the 7th of September 2023, stakeholders from across the agricultural value chain gathered to celebrate a groundbreaking milestone in the fight against post-harvest losses with us. The occasion which marked the informative launch of the Ecotutu SelfChill solar cooling technology in Nigeria was organised by Ecotutu in collaboration with SelfChill and NSPRI.
The Post-Harvest Loss Challenge
Post-harvest losses have long plagued Nigeria’s agricultural sector, accounting for up to 60 percent of the country’s perishable harvests. These losses, a source of concern for farmers (especially smallholder farmers), businesses, and consumers alike, have far-reaching implications for food security and revenue for the industry players. Recognizing this pressing issue, Ecotutu set out on a mission to revolutionise the agricultural value chain.
The event commenced at 10 AM and was graced by the presence of 34 distinguished participants from the public and private sectors which included The German General Consul, Mr. Weert Börner, Dr. Victor Torres Toledo the German General Consul, Mr. Weert Börner, Ms. Nada Khella from German Energy Agency (dena), Dr. Michael Omodara from NSPRI Nigeria, Dr Augustine Okoruwa PhD CFS FNIFST from Gain Program, Mr. Alexander Isong president of the Organization for Technology Advancement of Cold Chain in West Africa (OTACCWA), Mr. Timo Pleyer head of the Delegation of German Industry and Commerce in Nigeria (AHK Nigeria), the Ecotutu Team and other notable stakeholders.
The event was opened by Gen. Consul of Germany in Nigeria – Mr. Weert Börner, Ecotutu COO, Ms. Adejoke Nofiu and Dr. Michael Omodara of NSPRI.
After which Dr. Torres Toledo of SelfChill spoke on the SelfChill approach and applications.
He spoke on the collective aim of bringing stakeholders together to address post-harvest losses comprehensively. They not only plan to increase the installation of cold rooms but also intend to adapt the model to cater to the specific needs of Nigeria.
Mr. Michael Akinsete, CMO of Ecotutu further highlighted the marketing strategies employed at Ecotutu to scale the technologies, progress made so far and the plan for the future.
Engr. Adebiyi Adebayo of NSPRI also did a presentation on the Research activities on solar cold rooms at NSPRI and the outcomes.
Dr. Salvatierra Rojas spoke on cooling Agri-Food value chains’ potential.
How to Promote Solar Cooling Technology in Agri-food Value Chains in Nigeria was the topic of the panellist discussion, which was panelled by Dr. AugustineOkoruwa, GAIN, Mr Alexander Isong – President, OTACCWA, Dr. Torres Toledo, SelfChill, Babajide Oluwase – CEO, Ecotutu Dr. Michael Omodara – NSPRI.
Representatives from NSPRI, the Organisation for Technology Advancement of Cold Chain in West Africa (OTACCWA), and GAIN all underscored the technology’s potential to significantly reduce post-harvest losses. Dr. Alexander Isong of OTACCWA emphasised the role of technology in supporting farmers and seedlings at the farm gate, an area where SelfChill’s solution could be a game-changer.
Babajide Oluwase, CEO of Ecotutu, highlighted the alarming statistic that 50 percent of horticultural goods in Nigeria go to waste. In response, he emphasised Ecotutu’s commitment to raising brand awareness within the agricultural and pharmaceutical industries, envisioning a future where post-harvest losses are drastically reduced.
Dr. Augustine Okoruwa of GAIN affirmed their commitment to collaborating with Ecotutu and service providers to create awareness about the cold chain solution, recognizing its pivotal role in preserving agricultural produce and enhancing the food supply chain.
Collaboration for Success
Key to the event’s success was the collaboration between Ecotutu, the Nigerian Stored Products Research Institute (NSPRI), and SelfChill, supported by DENA, Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action, and Mittelstand Global.
This solar-powered cooling system is adaptable to various agricultural value chains, offering a lifeline to farmers, traders, and businesses dealing with perishable produce. Fruits, herbs, seeds, and other commodities can now be stored at the optimal temperature and humidity, mitigating the devastating effects of spoilage and waste.
This informative launch marks a significant turning point in Nigeria and our agricultural sector. With innovative solar cooling technology, collaborative partnerships, and a shared commitment to reduce post-harvest losses, the future promises greater food security, and a more sustainable agricultural sector. As we continue to spread awareness of this technology as well as embrace its transformative solution, we are looking forward to what this brighter and food-secure future holds for us all.