At a time the Nigerian land borders are closed to importation of frozen foods, a company in Ile-Ife, Osun state has introduced solar powered cold room to service the interest of poultry farmers and processors in the area.
RAAS is a new acronym that stands for “Refrigeration As A Service”, an innovative solar-powered refrigerating system, recently launched in Ile-Ife, Osun state by EastWind Laboratories limited with the support of United State of America Development Fund (USADF) and All On Incorporated.
On Monday 16th of November 2019, friends, partners, customers and important stakeholders in the refrigeration value chain gathered at the expansive yard and technohall of EastWind Laboratories located in Lagere Central business area of Ile-Ife, to celebrate with the company on the commissioning of its 4,500 cubic feet solar-powered cold room. The cold room is the first of its kind in southwest Nigeria and perhaps the second in the country.
Worried about the high post-harvest loss, epileptic nature of the grid electricity supply and the exorbitant cost of diesel engine electricity generators, EastWind Laboratories thought the solar-powered refrigeration system would be the best option to address these challenges and move the country towards food self-sufficiency. Mr. Ola Abraham, the Managing Director of EastWind Laboratories proposed to the United States of America Development Foundation (USADF) to build a solar energy powered refrigerator to offer registration services to farmers in the Ile-Ife region. In a competition involving over 200 submissions, EastWind Laboratories’ proposal was among the final nine supported across the continent.
While giving his opening address to the audience that included some staff of US Consulate in Lagos, members of Poultry Association of Nigeria, Ile-Ife chapter and selected stakeholders from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Mr. Abraham explained the operations of the solar-powered refrigeration system and its importance for farming businesses, including poultry in Ile-Ife area. He explained that the cold room has two parts; 3,500 cubic feet refrigerator that cools down to 5 degrees Celsius and 1,000 cubic feet freezer that cools down to minus 25 degrees Celsius. The cold room engines are powered via solar modules which generate DC electricity consistently without failure, the DC is inverted to AC to run the engine 24hours daily without break. Mr. Abraham thereafter extended invitation to farmers in the area to patronize the cold room services in order to improve their profitability from sales.
In her remark, Ms. Christine Kelly, the commercial attaché of the US Consulate in Lagos commended the doggedness of EastWind laboratories in pulling through the grant application process and the actual execution of the project. She expressed her optimism that the cold room services will have a great positive impact on farmers and farming business in and around Ile-Ife.
Other speakers that applauded RAAS and the inventor at the occasion included Mr. Adedire, the chairman of Poultry Association of Nigeria, Ile-Ife Chapter; Engr. Ademola Owoyomi, the South West coordinator of Rural Electrification Agency; Director of Center for Energy Research, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife; Professor Babafunso Sonaiya, the principal investigator of African Chicken Genetic Gains (ACGG), OAU, Ile-Ife and Mr. David Krummenacher from African Energy, Arizona, USA.
Mr. Ola Abraham later spoke to livestonews on his company’s plan to upscale the cold room services and expand the company’s business footprints. He also encouraged investors to contact his company for assistance to replicate the solar-powered cold room services across Osun state and Nigeria.
EastWind Laboratories is a company with a vision and mandate to rapidly and sustainably develop and deploy new and innovative solutions necessary for translating the African continent to operate as 21st Century communities. The company was established in 2002 and situates in Ile-Ife, Osun State, Nigeria. LIVESTONEWS.