Enabling rural prosperity through productive renewable energy equipment access powered by a mobile platform for smallholder farmers.

Pioneering portable solar powered cold storage units, solar irrigation kits & mosquito-repellent solar lamps for rural smallholder farmers

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I confirm that I am fully aware of the eligibility criteria, and based on its description, I am eligible to apply to the CSV Prize 2017.

  • Yes, I'm eligible

Preferred language

  • English

Organization name

Solar Freeze

Year founded


Initiative stage

  • Start-Up (a pilot that has just started operating)

Annual budget in 2017 (USD)

  • $50k - $100k

Number of beneficiaries impacted so far

  • 1,000 - 5,000

Organization type

  • Social enterprise

Secondary Focus Area

  • Water

Headquarters location: Country

  • Kenya

Headquarters location: City


Location(s) of impact

Kenya: Machakos, Makueni, Kitui



Facebook URL


Twitter URL


Problem: What problem is this initiative trying to address?

An estimated 45% of food produced in Sub-Saharan Africa is lost post-harvest before it even leaves rural fields since the cold‐storage chain is virtually non‐existent! And with 789 million people–1 out of every 9 on the planet–food insecure or undernourished, millions of vulnerable smallholder farmers losing profits they can’t spare we can't afford to allow this losses to continue. Additionally, only 4% of the land in Sub-Saharan Africa is irrigated meaning rural populations don't benefit from water investment

Solution Summary: What is the proposed solution? What do you see as its most promising aspects for creating shared value?

Our solution uses the "sharing economy" an economic model in which individuals are able to borrow or rent assets(solar powered cold rooms, solar irrigation kits) owned by someone else. The sharing economy model is used since the price of these particular assets is high. Smallholder farmers through their mobile phones request and are connected to productive equipment access namely solar powered irrigation kits, solar powered cold storage and mosquito-repellent solar lamps via SMS, USSD and Voice messages where they pay via mobile money transactions a fee of between US$0.2cents to $1 dollar for the use of renewable energy equipment for increased productivity. The system capitalizes on the high mobile penetration of East Africa (approximately 80% of households) and the common use of mobile money services. The ecosystem utilizes a digital platform (SMS.USSD, Voice Messages and Mobile App) for farmers using a basic and a cheap smart phone connecting them to renewable energy tools.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Specify both the social and the environmental impact of your work

1. Reduced Food Loss in the fresh produce agricultural sector by 90 percent for 1,000 farmers as result of utilizing solar powered cold storage units. 2. Solar Irrigation Kits have saved our farmers over $10,000 per year vs. using a petrol and furrow system. 3. Increased incomes for rural smallholder women and youth farmers by 70 percent. 4. Mentoring and training 20 young rural women and the youth into the field of renewable energy and agriculture. Through a program called “Each One, Teach One” where rural youth gain practical hand on technical skills and are guided on how to operate solar powered equipment powered by renewable energy for agriculture. 5. Improving and increasing agricultural production and food security for 5,000 rural community members. 6. Cheaper fresh food produce and reduced malnutrition for bottom of the pyramid consumers in towns and cities since customers work within their budget while purchasing food at the solar powered vending machines

Financial sustainability plan: How is this initiative financially supported? How will you ensure its financial sustainability long-term?

1. Earned income= 70% 2. Individual donations or gifts=10% 3. Grants=10% 4. Awards =10%

Unique value proposition: What makes your initiative innovative? How does your project differ from other organizations working in the same field?

Through the "sharing economy", Solar Freeze is pioneering increased productivity for rural smallholder farmers through the use of portable cold storage units, solar powered irrigation kits and mosquito-repellent solar lamps for rural communities. The ecosystem utilizes both a digital platform using basic and cheap smart phones (SMS.USSD, Voice Messages and Mobile App) and physical infrastructure via renewable energy equipment for farmers to connect and enhance productivity.

Founding story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that sparked the beginning of this initiative.

We are a team of a new young generation of Africans with an average age of 26years. Like many our age, we watched our parents, grandparents and those before them work tirelessly toiling and moiling in the rural farms only for a huge chunk of their fresh produce to rot away due to lack of proper cold storage units. Often times, middle men would quickly swoop in and offer dirt cheap prices and farmers would be forces to sell for a song out of desperation and fear of post-harvest loss. Lesson one we learned in early life: Don’t do agriculture! It’s a backbreaking endeavor that will leave you with crusty hands and empty pockets. We voted with our feet and opted for a better life in the big city. That was then, but now we want to change this. Via the use of the sharing economy we want to connect rural communities to access mosquito-repellent solar lamps for rural communities to fight Malaria

Where did you hear about the Nestlé Creating Shared Value Prize?

  • Nestlé page or contact


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