Temperature loggers, ammonia chillers, wireless temperature monitoring equipment, natural ethylene catalytic generators, and completely fitted storage rooms, on or off grid, are just a few of the U.S. technologies that 17 Hub-supported East African agribusinesses discovered in Chicago at the Global Cold Chain Expo and Conference (GCCEC) 2018. These technologies increase the efficiency of agricultural markets and can improve food security. U.S. businesses have them; East African companies need them. The USAID Hub is linking the two for a trade win-win.
The East African cold chain industry has struggled to adopt efficient solutions and utilize innovations in logistics, storage, postharvest handling, and other related practices. Introduction and adoption of cold chain technologies in East Africa will contribute to improved food safety and quality standards, as well as increased tradable quantities, thereby enhancing regional trade and contributing to regional food security and resiliency.
The buyers from East Africa had varying levels of experience in technology sourcing. They ranged from a Kenyan company run by a couple that employs over 6,000 agribusiness technology innovators to companies looking to begin sourcing advance cold chain technology from the U.S. Thanks to the trip, buyers were able to meet with top cold chain technology sellers and see the newest technologies in the market firsthand, giving them insight into the innovative and efficient food security-enhancing production process. With this knowledge, East African buyers are better equipped to expand their sourcing of U.S. cold chain technologies.
Grace Mueni, a Kenyan buyer and CEO of Safe Produce Solutions Limited was thrilled by the trip. Her company deals with fresh agricultural produce including celery, parsley, tomatoes and chillies with an estimated monthly trade of between 35 to 60 tonnes. Keeping her produce fresh is fundamental to survival of her products. This explains her excitement of finding technology that enables her to be able to implement this seamlessly. “In the past I’ve used disposable temperature data loggers but these temperature data loggers from Cole-Parmer are designed in a way that I can reuse them which will go a long way in saving high costs for my business”, said Grace Mueni Nyaa, CEO of Safe Produce Solutions Limited.
The USAID Hub works to support the introduction and adoption of local and international technologies in order to increase the efficiency of agricultural markets and improve food security in East Africa.