To demonstrate the viability and benefits of mobile solar powered cold storage systems, PEEDA and its partner Mukti Energy will implement the first system of its kind in Nepal in the rural municipality of Baiteshwor.
Currently, in the absence of cold storage and related cold supply chain facilities, many farmers in Nepal are forced to sell their products immediately after harvest, resulting in oversupply and low revenues. Providing access to cold supply chain infrastructure for fruit and vegetables could help to reduce harvest losses and increase cash income for poor rural communities while simultaneously helping to meet growing domestic demand. However, the energy supply required to run such cold storage facilities is often unreliable and expensive. A potential solution to this problem is to power cold storage facilities with solar energy. Solar powered cold storage is a simple, battery-less refrigeration system comprising specially designed compressors running at various speeds to adjust the cooling demand, air cooling system and thermal storage system. Using solar powered cold systems could reduce operational costs, provide reliable cold storage and improve storage quality. Furthermore, such systems offer the advantage of being mobile, which allows them to be used in different areas of a rural village. However, to date, no solar powered cold storage systems have been put into operation in the rural areas of Nepal. Consequently, to demonstrate the viability and benefits of mobile solar powered cold storage systems, PEEDA and its partner Mukti Energy will implement the first system of its kind in Nepal in the rural municipality of Baiteshwor. The cold storage system will act as a collection centre facilitating market linkages and offering a central point-of-sale, meaning that individual farmers will no longer have to sell small quantities of their produce individually. The cold storage system installed will be owned, operated and managed by the community. PEEDA will ensure community involvement from the initial stages of the project, while Mukti Energy will be responsible for the procurement and installation of the cold storage facility. To disseminate the results of this project, visits will be arranged for relevant stakeholders and the results will be shared with government agencies and other stakeholders to promote the further replication of the technology. The specific objectives of the project are:
- To provide a rural community with access to solar powered mobile cold storage facilities to improve income from locally produced fruit and vegetables
- To demonstrate low cost clean storage facilities for smallholder farms
- To ensure local operational sustainability of the plant through community involvement