Launched in Kenya in 2015, Solar Freeze is pioneering the production of cold storage units powered by solar energy for small-scale rural produce farmers. By providing mobile solar-powered cold rooms, this innovative entrepreneurial initiative enables farmers to reduce post-harvest losses by 90 percent and to grow more high-value crops, thus increasing household incomes and reducing greenhouse gas emissions through food loss. 80 percent of the 3,000 beneficiaries are women. The ‘Each One, Teach One - Train and Earn’ initiative within Solar Freeze mentors women and youth between the ages of 18 and 29 in the operation, maintenance, and repair of renewable energy equipment as well as in climate-smart agriculture. As a result of the mentorship provided by this skills-transfer program, 100 young people are earning an income through work that reduces agricultural carbon footprint. By filling a key gap in the supply chain, Solar Freeze increases smallholder income, mitigates climate change, and supports food security through replicable practices.
Equator Prize Winner: 2019
Location: Machakos, Kenya
Ecosystem: Grasslands and Drylands