Agra Launches $2 Billion Cold Storage Project for African Farmers

The Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) and UPL Limited on Wednesday launched a major Public Private Partnership at the ongoing World Economic Forum on Africa in Kigali, Rwanda.

The $2 billion project dubbed Million Tons of Cold Storage in Africa Initiative will set up cold storage facilities with the capacity of a million tons across sub-Saharan Africa in the next 10 years.

According to Agra, post-harvest losses of potatoes, fruits, vegetables and other perishable produce before reaching consumers account for 40 per cent of food losses on the continent and impede the development and transformation of Africa’s agricultural sector.

“The initiative aims to substantially bring down post-harvest losses of potatoes and other perishables that are lost in their journey from farms to fork,” said Dr. Agnes Kalibata, President of Agra.

Kalibata added that it would give farmers greater flexibility in what they grow and in when they decide to take their produce to the market, giving them a higher negotiating power and ultimately greater income.

Jai Shroff, CEO of Indian-based agrochemical maker UPL Limited noted that “there are no functioning cold chains handling fresh produce at scale in sub-Saharan Africa”.

The initiative aims to reach around 15 million farmers with the purpose of benefiting 100 million people through value addition.

With the creation of innovative supply chains and energy efficient cold storage systems, it will also revolutionize African agriculture and bring it to par with the rest of the world.

Construction of three cold storage projects, expected to be fully functional by the end of 2017, has already began in Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda.

Source: Footprint to Africa

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