• Thu. May 19th, 2022

Coy launches mobile app to help farmers with storage

As part of efforts to prevent post-harvest crop losses in Nigeria, the Basel Sustainable Energy Agency (BASE) and the Swiss Federal Laboratory for Materials Science and Technology (EMPA) are developing a mobile app based on open access data science.

The mobile application, called Your Virtual Cold-chain Assistant (YVCCA), aims to enable smallholder farmers, aggregators and food traders to optimize cold storage facilities and farm management through corporate partnerships of green technology.

Thomas Motmans, project manager at BASE, told reporters in Abuja that with the use of business model innovation, digitalization and data science, “our interdisciplinary team works closely with entrepreneurs locals and other stakeholders in Nigeria to strengthen the agricultural cold chain and generate measurable environmental and social impact.

He said around 25% of smallholder farmers’ annual income is lost due to food spoilage, with an estimated monetary value of $39.34 billion also lost and 76.9 million metric tons of produce wasted. every year.

“Amid losses and waste, Nigeria faces significant risks due to a lack of access to cooling that can protect food, especially fresh and perishable foods.

“Besides the negative impact on farmers’ incomes caused by the loss of food, farmers suffer a loss of income by being forced to sell their products at reduced prices at the wrong time due to lack of access to information on the market and cold chain facilities, as well as harvesting at the same time by almost all farmers,” he added.

In his submission, the project led at EMPA, Dr Daniel Onwude said: “We are currently collecting data and building the relevant models. The innovation aims to use a proactive and sustainable approach to data science by recycling the many data sources available in the food supply chain into ready-to-use information to save food and improve people’s livelihoods. smallholder farmers in Nigeria.

He said agriculture played a vital role in the economy and that the rural population of Nigeria particularly depended on agriculture for their livelihoods, adding that farmers and other actors in the value chain would have access to off-grid cooling. most efficient, reliable and sustainable network, while only paying for the amount of food they store (per kg-day) in the cold rooms, avoiding any initial investment.

They explained that service providers owned and maintained solar-powered cooling facilities, thereby covering operating costs. This long-term commitment encourages them to install the most energy-efficient equipment and carry out quality maintenance.