Nigerian Nnaemeka C. Ikegwuonu has been given much Kudos for his pioneering ColdHubs, refrigeration systems using transformative technology that, like all great innovations, tackles several problems at once.
Many tons of fruits and vegetables are wasted every month in the warm African climate, as these on average survive just a maximum of only two days in the West African nation’s heat and humidity.
Goodnewsnetwork.org reports on the ColdHubs; Designed specifically for off-grid areas, ColdHubs employ rooftop solar panels to generate enough electricity to power the units in all weather conditions, while providing reliable 24/7 autonomous refrigeration. This cuts down on spoilage, but also leads to much higher profits.
ColdHub fridges can extend the life of fruits and vegetables from two to 21 days. This increases vendor and farmer profits by 25% on average, says the company. It also increases entrepreneurial energy among the users, as literal days of their life are freed up from having to spend time buying, sourcing, shipping, or throwing away extra produce.
Ikegwuonu won the 2020 Waislitz Global Citizen Disruptor Award and its $50,000 cash prize, which he says he will use “to build two ColdHubs in two fruit and vegetable markets, saving 3,285 tons of food from spoilage yearly, increase the income of 200 users, and create four new jobs for women.”