Nigeria’s ColdHubs, Rwanda’s MeshPower &  Kenya’s Agsol receive funding from Microsoft’s Airband Grant Fund

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November 09, 2017. Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation shortlist: Bright Igbokwe has developed solar powered walk-in cold rooms to extend the life of fruits, vegetables & other perishable foods. These 'Cold Hubs' are designed for farmers, retailers & wholesalers & are installed in markets & farm coops; Owerri, Nigeria. Hub Marketer Chioma Amam canvasses market traders. Picture: Brett Eloff for The Royal Academy of Engineering.

 

Apart from Mesh PowerCold Hubs and Agsol other grantees include CV WirelessSkylark Wireless , Tribal Digital Village and Numbers4Health and ME Solshare from Bangladesh.

ColdHubs is another organization finding innovative ways to tackle the broadband access challenge. In Owerri, Nigeria, ColdHubs is transforming their refrigerated crop storage rooms into Wi-Fi hot spots using TVWS technology. The company aims to empower smallholder farmers with the ability to earn better livelihoods. Their solar-powered crop storage facilities help reduce food spoilage, which causes 470 million smallholder farmers to lose 25 percent of their annual income. Farmers who use ColdHubs can extend the freshness of their fruits and vegetables from two to about 21 days, reducing post-harvest loss by 80 percent. By turning these facilities into Wi-Fi “Farm Connect Centers,” ColdHubs will enable farmers to get online and access agricultural training, resources to improve crop yields and marketing and digital skills training.