In order to meet quality market standards, farmers need to improve their potato growing and harvesting techniques. The cold storage facility should therefore act as a knowledge center to play an active role in improving product quality. Upon arrival at the facility, all potatoes will need to go through pre-processing (sorting, weighing, packaging) for quality control as focus on potato quality is eminent for proper storage and will make the product attractive to key buyers like exporters and processors.
The cold storage facility will offer an affordable, semi-central communal storage solution with a capacity of up to 800 metric tonnes to a group of 250 farmers. These farmers are combined in a farm business group (FBG) and represented by a farm business advisor (FBA). Next to the FBG, other (private party) stakeholders might involve technology suppliers, agro-businesses, potato processors and exporters. The FBG will take responsibility of the cold storage facility and knowledge center, the farmers will become shareholders by investing an annual rate based on current costs for cold storage and production losses.
Small-scale potato farmers benefit most from affordable communal cold storages. Their income and financial stability will increase. Due to proper storage, many other Bangladeshis will benefit as less potatoes go to waste. A potential 1.5 million metric tonnes can be saved in Bangladesh, that should be enough to feed 1 million people potatoes for an entire year. As less food goes to waste, and storages will be solar-powered, the storages should have a positive environmental impact.
Our cold storage solution was one of the almost 500 submissions for this challenge. We're happy to see our concept advance, after the first selection round, to the last 85. Updates will follow soon!
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