Ghana Cold Chain
Cold chain refers to preserving the temperature required by perishable products to maintain their quality and food safety from the point of origin through the distribution chain to the final consumer. There are several reasons why cold storage is underdeveloped in many sub-Saharan African countries. These include a lack of local of understanding of the need for cold storage, inadequate financing options, and poor electricity.
Ghana and many West African countries represent an enormous opportunity for the growth of the cold chain and integration of post-harvest loss management solutions. Just in Ghana, the need for cold chain solutions within the fruit and vegetable value chains through cold storage and refrigerated trucks, has a revenue potential of up to $900 million annually. At present, this opportunity remains largely untapped.
The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization estimates more than 40% of food in sub-Saharan Africa spoils before it reaches a consumer. This can be as high as 60% for fresh fruits and vegetables, pointing to unmet demand for temperature-controlled cold-storage warehouses and transportation services.
The impact of this food waste is not only on consumer preferences and health. It negatively impacts the incomes of farmers, wastes critical environmental resources such as water and soil to grow food and produces methane.
Seventy percent of Africa’s food is supplied by smallholder farmers. These farmers face significant losses due to the high rate of post-harvest losses in the fresh food and vegetable sector. Companies that can bridge that gap by helping these smallholder farmers transport it to other temperature-controlled environments would be welcomed. It is vital to note that majority of Ghanaian farmers are in rural communities that have little or no access to electricity with which to power cold chains.
Sustainable cold chain infrastructure and an efficient supply chain network powered by clean and affordable technology are required by grass-root farmers and vendors to solve the problem of food waste. There is also a need for hygienic and sustainable food logistics infrastructure that digital platforms can build upon.
Pharmaceuticals Industry: Twenty-five percent of liquid vaccines spoil globally – primarily because of broken cold chains. As of last summer, the Ghana Health Service operated only two temperature-controlled vehicles. Two more were donated by the U.S. company Kosmos Energy to support Ghana’s Covid 19 and other immunization programs. Toyota Tsusho also delivered 10 refrigerated vaccine transport vehicles to the Ministry of Health in December 2021.
Fishing Industry: Ghana is home to a growing sector of farmed fish. Fish must be harvested when mature or the farmers lose money on feed, but then they are faced with the urgent problem of getting harvested fish to market before it spoils. They need on-site refrigeration until they can sell to wholesalers.
Opportunities for U.S Companies
- Although Ghana has relatively stable power, there are periods of intermittent power availability that poses a significant challenge to cold chain infrastructure. As a result, off-grid, renewable energy solutions are critically needed.
- Offering long-term financing and equipment maintenance schemes where farming or fishing cooperatives can purchase vehicles and maintain them.
- Ghana ‘s cold chain industry is still in its infancy. Therefore, there are only few local engineers and technicians with expertise in refrigeration equipment, handling, and support, creating training opportunities to develop local engineering and repair skills.
For more information about opportunities in this sector, contact Commercial Service Accra, Agribusiness Commercial Specialist Victoria Agbai at email@example.com, or phone +233(0)59-415-8954.