As part of moves to provide market-led solutions to post-harvest losses for fresh produce, Ecotutu, a tech company providing off-grid cooling solutions, has launched a solar-powered dual-purpose 3.75-ton capacity cold room in Sabongida market, Nasarawa State.
At an event, the company announced the commencement of its operations in Northern Nigeria with the launch of its cold-chain services in Sabongida, Nasarawa State.
The cold room will provide cooling-as-a-service, offering refrigeration solutions for fruits, vegetables, and fresh produce for the northern market.
“Ecotutu remains committed to its vision of pioneering energy-efficient cold chain solutions that transform the agricultural landscape in Nigeria and beyond,” Babajide Oluwase, the chief executive officer of Ecotutu, said.
“This endeavour in Sabongida represents a significant step towards achieving that vision, fostering economic growth, reducing post-harvest losses, and building a more resilient food system for the people of Northern Nigeria,” he added.
Sabon Gida, a commercial community in Lafia, Nasarawa State, first connected to reliable power from a Husk Power Systems (Husk) minigrid in 2022, and now the cold storage facility can leverage this for its operations.
“As the co-operator for the cold storage facility in Sabon Gida, Husk is demonstrating a key aspect of its business model — collaborating with willing stakeholders and partners in energy, food, water and mobility to build thriving rural economies,” said Olu
Aruike, country director for Husk Power Systems in Nigeria.
“As the market leader in scaling mini grids, this project is a clear example of how reliable and modern power is the stepping stone for sustainable economic growth in rural Nigeria.”
This initiative is the result of a collaboration between Ecotutu and Husk Power, a mini-grid developer, facilitated through the Energizing Agriculture Programme’s Agriculture-Energy Innovation Accelerator, a partnership by Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) and the Nigerian Rural Electrification Agency.
The Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet (GEAPP) also supported the programme. The accelerator pairs rural mini-grids with Nigerian entrepreneurs who help communities use power to improve their livelihoods.
“The Energizing Agriculture Programme is proud to support Ecotutu and Husk Power in reducing food spoilage through cold storage,” Andrew Allee, the program manager, said.
“We expect that putting renewable energy to work in Sabongida will increase earnings for local traders and producers, while also supporting the local infrastructure that powers the refrigeration through increased electricity sales.”
Michael Akinsete, co-founder and chief marketing officer of Ecotutu, expressed enthusiasm for this milestone achievement.
He said, “This launch represents a significant stride towards fulfilling Ecotutu’s mission of establishing 20 solar-powered cold rooms in major open markets across Northern and Southern Nigeria within the next 24 months.”