sustainable technology

Sustainable Technology for Tackling Extensive Food Loss in Kenya

Food and Agriculture

Some 150,000 Kenyans make their living fishing in the East Africa coastal regions bordering the Indian Ocean. Collectively they harvest an estimated 187,000 tons of fresh seafood. An estimated one-third of the country’s post-harvest seafood is lost before it can be sold and safely consumed because of the expense and lack of accessible centralized cold-storage facilities. Fresh fish kept at 0°C is preserved up to 10 days, but only a few hours at 30°C. Such tremendous food loss has a huge impact on the environment; food and income security; food quality and safety; and economic development for these communities in Kenya. 

By drawing on World Wide Fund for Nature - Kenya’s experience with natural resource management and the expertise of Danish clean energy company M-PAYG, this partnership will provide fishing communities with affordable off-grid solar-powered cooling appliances. The solution is provided to entrepreneurial fishers, comprising small-scale fisher men and women, fishmongers and micro-entrepreneurs in the seafood supply chain, who buy the solar energy systems and cooling appliances provided by M-PAYG on a lease-to-own model. Monthly mobile pay-as-you-go payments are estimated at of approximately USD 20-30. The price will vary based on the user needs. After a 24-month repayment period the fishers gain ownership of the solar system and cooling appliance, thereby gaining unlimited, free access to solar energy for cooling for at least six years. Since the cooling systems allow the fishers to preserve fish effectively at each point of transfer, the fishers can generate additional income. 

The main market barriers for providing cold supply chain facilities to the sector are that the small-scale fishers are unbanked and do not have access to credit in order to invest in cold storage equipment. In addition, many of the fishing-dependent communities are either off-grid or do not have access to reliable and affordable electricity to run such equipment, as only 30% of the Kenyan population have access to reliable electricity.  

This project leverages existing partnerships in the coastal regions of Kenya and the top manufacturers of energy efficient cold chain appliances, such as Phillips, NIWA, Omnivoltaic and SunDanzer. The project will stretch over 18 months and after implementation of the pilot, the business case will be modeled, documented and replicated for scaling to other coastal regions in East Africa.