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Advancing sustainable AGRIculture through off-grid energy and COOLing solutions in Africa


Large parts of sub-Saharan Africa have no or only limited access to the electricity grid. Therefore, many farmers cannot adequately cool their product. This results in an enormous loss and waste of food, which is responsible for more than 10% of total anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions worldwide. Cooling the food by inefficiently using generators on fossil fuels – the most common alternative – is not climate friendly either.
AGRI-COOL will address both problems with a containerized solution in which food can be stored and cooled. It combines the use of photovoltaic technology, thermal energy storage by phase change materials, chillers, and smart control strategies to offer an affordable, scalable and climate friendly solution.
The AGRI-COOL system will be demonstrated in rural communities in South Africa, Cape Verde, Somalia, and Zimbabwe to showcase its adaptability to different climatic conditions. A life cycle assessment following the cradle-to-grave approach will be conducted to show the system’s impact on environment and Paris targets compared with competing approaches. A comprehensive market and business strategy will be developed for adoption of the system after the project. Training programs for farmers, technicians, and engineers that are tailored to local conditions will ensure that the system can be installed, operated, and maintained locally. Lastly, an advanced course for third party engineers from various African countries will be organized on the design, customization, and broader economic and social aspects of the system.
AGRI-COOL is going to empower rural African communities and industries by enhancing food security, reducing waste and fostering economic growth while contributing to achieve the African countries’ targets of the Paris Agreement. A balanced consortium with about the same share of person months and budget for African and European partners ensures that African problems are tackled by solutions tailored to African conditions.


Net EU contribution
€ 870 000,00
7522 NB Enschede

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Oost-Nederland Overijssel Twente
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
€ 870 000,00

Participants (12)