Fruits and Vegetables are highly perishable and spoil very fast. India ranks first in number of verities of fruits and vegetables and second in the world in terms of APC `s, extent of production. We produce more and waste more. The fruits and vegetables are season and region specific. Fruits and Vegetables are generally produced in the rural sector say 72.4 percent of population. They need to cover long distances before reaching the consumer either through APC `s, Mandis or individuals, There are inadequate cold transport and retail chains which leads to significant spoilage and losses estimated around 35-45 percent of produce . TIFAC survey estimates losses to Rs.40,000 Crores per year.
Farmers or owners of the orchards are not able to get the right price and also difficult to make the fruits and vegetables and flowers etc due to short shelf life. It gets spoiled in between and creates the problem of pathogens and microbes.
To overcome this type of short shelf life of f&v and flowers etc, refrigerated trucks are required. The availability of the electricity in the rural areas are also one of the the for running the cold storages, the company ECOFROST named comes forward and solved , all the related problems by developing the solar based refrigerated cold storages and also remote controlled by the Bluetooth.
Ecofrost, A product of Ecozen which is an Indian company, specialises in portable solar cold rooms which have thermal energy storage and are designed to work even in low sunlight.
Ecofrost can also be controlled via Bluetooth through a mobile app. Simply by tapping on the image of a product, farmers can control temperature, humidity and air quality parameters, and they can access information on the product’s shelf-life.
We have seen the farmers crying over their spoiled crops because of weather conditions. Have you ever wondered how much loss these farmers selling roses have to bear because of less sale or unpredictable weather conditions?
With Ecofrost, they can keep flowers for up to 21 days meanwhile monitoring market conditions and supplying good quality flowers at the local market at the right time. The pre-cooling feature allows the farmer to send roses to markets further away, ensuring better returns.
Ecofrost is a portable solar-powered cold room which enables farmers to store post-harvest produce at optimum temperatures. This maximizes its shelf-life and enables the farmer to supply quality products to the local market at the right time, as well as sell it at markets further away, ensuring better returns. The systems are used mainly by horticulture farmers to store fruits, vegetables, and flowers. Cold storage facilities are a key solution to reducing waste and increasing income for farmers.
Ecozen has installed 100 Ecofrost systems, mostly in India, which are serving around 1,000 farmers. Equipped with 4kWp of solar PV, the Ecofrost is designed to work in low sunlight. The system can maintain temperatures from 4°C to 10°C for up to 30 hours.
Now, Farmers will have more confidence to grow larger crop quantities with an Ecofrost. By storing produce, farmers can extend shelf life and sell in bulk, which commands higher prices. Farmers are also able to access regular contracts with retailers now that they can guarantee a minimum cold chain supply and provide larger quantities of crops.
The remarkable work of Ecofrost was acknowledged and rewarded in International domain by Ashden recently. The Ashden Awards uncover and reward the most exciting sustainable energy pioneers in the UK and developing world and give them a global platform to promote their work.
Ashden established the Ashden India Collective (AIC) in 2010 to help increase access to energy for India’s rural poor – and to capitalize on the critical mass of innovative business models delivering sustainable energy in the country.
Established in the year 2013, Ashden India Collective (Ashden India) is a network of India-based winners of Ashden Awards, AIC members have been supporting the collective in its outreach and policy development activities.
Uptil Now 28 Indian Ashden Award winners are involved in AIC and work in varied sector with India’s government to help increase access to clean, affordable energy.