Global LEAP Awards Launches the 2021 Off-Grid Cold Chain Challenge

The Global LEAP Off-Grid Cold Chain Challenge will identify and promote the most energy-efficient, sustainable and cost-effective cold storage technologies designed for smallholder farmers.

The Efficiency for Access Coalition, through the support of DOEN Foundation, IKEA Foundation, Foreign & Commonwealth Department Offices (FCDO) and Good Energies Foundation, is excited to announce the launch of the second Global LEAP Off-Grid Cold Chain Challenge (OGCCC). The international competition, which will run from 2021 to 2022, will identify and promote the most energy-efficient, sustainable and cost-effective technologies designed for use by smallholder farmers that can meet the cold storage requirements for fresh fruits, vegetables, fish and dairy products.

Cold chain technology is a critical component of modern agricultural systems. It has the potential to significantly improve livelihoods for smallholder farmers and small traders by opening up new markets for high-value crops, reduce food loss and increase farmer profits. However, this technology is often out of reach in off-grid areas across the Global South due its cost, a lack of access to reliable electricity and the wide variety of uncoordinated stakeholders in the broader cold chain.

Post-harvest lost can reduce incomes for smallholder farmers and other agricultural supply chain players by 15% or more, while also negatively impacting food security. Access to modern cold chain technology across the Global South could increase production of key food crops by about 250 million tonnes.

By supporting the development of innovative cold chain solutions that run off clean energy, the OGCCC will catalyse the technology and business model innovations required to make cold chain technology more accessible for smallholder farmers in the Global South. Participating companies will be eligible for grant funding to offset costs associated with the field monitoring process, and the competition will award up to $100,000 in innovation prizes to the final winners. Manufacturers and distributors are encouraged to nominate products here.