Rwanda govt. secures funding to reduce post-harvest losses

The government, through Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA), has secured $1.3 million (approximately Rwf1.5 billion) from partners to support the development of a cold chain system. The primary goal of this initiative is to reduce post-harvest losses and improve cold-chain infrastructure, including vaccine storage and distribution, by providing clean cooling solutions throughout Rwanda.

The funding, provided by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the Green Climate Fund (GCF), will contribute to the establishment and operationalization of the Africa Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Cooling and Cold-Chain (ACES). This center, which was established in 2020, will be hosted by the University of Rwanda (UR) at its Rubirizi Campus in Kigali and aims to mitigate food losses through energy-efficient and climate-friendly cooling technologies. Additionally, it will provide technical assistance and capacity building for cold chain development across the country.

The Director General of REMA, Juliet Kabera, highlighted that the support received will aid in creating a cold chain system that benefits farmers by enabling them to transport perishable produce to urban markets without compromising its quality. The use of cooling solutions will allow farmers to harvest their crops on time and store them in cold rooms immediately, ensuring the preservation of their freshness. The produce can then be transported to the market while maintaining its quality, and consumers can also store them in cooling facilities to prevent any loss of quality.

"Making the cold chain an integral part of Rwanda's critical infrastructure is essential to reducing food loss, improving livelihoods, accelerating economic growth, and achieving our Vision 2050, as well as our international commitments under the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol and the Paris Agreement. The support we receive will ensure the success of sustainable cooling and cold-chain practices," Kabera said.


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