The potato industry is a leading contributor to increase incomes, food security, and improved welfare in Kenya. Potato is the second most important food crop in Kenya after maize and is mostly cultivated by “Bottom of the Pyramid” smallholders, in total 800,000, in Kenya.
One of the significant problems in the potato value chain is that most farmers have no or no proper storage facilities for harvested potatoes and thus dispose of potatoes at harvest, which leads to post-harvest oversupply and subsequent very low prices. FirmTec has developed a large cooling unit with minimum operational expenses using only solar panels, the “SunCooler”, for the storage of fruits and vegetables. With this SBIR project FirmTec wants to adjust this SunCooler into a dedicated Potato SunCooler that controls the quality of the stored potato’s (humidity, temperature, CO2).