Vegetable Cooling and Storage Evaluation

Background

MIT D-Lab, in partnership with the World Vegetable Center and Mercy Corps, is conducting an evaluation of technologies designed to improve the storage of vegetables using evaporative cooling. These technologies are designed to function without the use of electricity and are thus well suited for regions where cooling and storage dependent upon electricity is either not accessible or affordable. This research study will focus on the cooling and storage of vegetables in Mali. Suitable cooling and storage technologies have the potential to prevent food loss, strengthen the perishable food supply chain, and create opportunities for additional income generation. The World Vegetable Center and Mercy Corps have a strong presence in Mali and each have ongoing work with horticulture cooperatives and farmers. 

Increased availability of appropriate cooling and storage technologies would allow farmers and consumers to reduce foods loss leading to increased access to nutritional foods and financial savings. The methodologies used for this technology evaluation will include interviews with users of the cooling and storage technologies, interviews with stakeholders along the vegetable supply chain, and sensors to monitor product performance parameters.

The evaluation of vegetable cooling and storage technologies will produce outputs that will enable vegetable producers, distributors, and consumers to make informed purchasing decisions about cooling and storage technologies, suppliers of vegetable cooling and storage technologies to identify potential markets for their products, and identify gaps in the market and opportunities for innovative technology and supply chain design.

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