For Jean Desire Habiyambere, an entrepreneur with a passion for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), helping farmers shrink post-harvest losses is a win-win since it leads to higher income. This is why, in 2019, he set up a firm called ‘MoFresh’ after identifying the problem of postharvest losses. They are using an off-grid cold storage system to solve the problem of post-harvest loss from farmers to final consumers. “We were able to identify that we needed some knowledge and technology in manufacturing cold rooms that we don’t have in Rwanda,” Habiyambere told Doing Business. Theirs is an off-grid cold-store solution that helps farmers and retailers reduce waste as well as sell when prices are good. Usually, during times of harvest prices fall and recover later in the season. Cutting waste and getting better prices, therefore, leads to higher productivity and income. He said: “The majority of our clients are farmers and retailers. The retailers are in Kigali while farmers are in rural and urban areas. Our clients work with temperature-sensitive goods, such as horticulture growers and retailers. “We also serve meat sellers, both retailers and wholesalers, and a few importers.” Their cold rooms provide off-grid cold chain solutions to solve the problem of post-harvest losses in agriculture value chains. They offer three different solutions – MoFresh Hub: off-grid cold storage; MoFresh Box: a portable off-grid cold box, in other words, an insulated box with cooling materials, and the MoFresh App. There is also a web and mobile-based application with management and platform types of functionality, in connecting different players in the value chain – farmers, buyers, sellers, and markets. Both MoFresh Hub and boxes are used to store mainly fruits, vegetables, and meat. “With a combination of all solutions, we aim to contribute to the transformation of the agriculture sector and its supply chain in Sub-Saharan Africa into a climate resilient and sustainable industry,” he said. The platforms provide the ability for the users to search available cold chain services providers across the country. A 2018 postharvest loss assessment on tomatoes, one of the most perishable produce, by the Horticulture Innovation Lab, indicated that farmers were losing – on average – 21 percent of their crop during harvest. At the collection point, it revealed, another 11.5 percent of tomatoes are lost. At the wholesale level, 10 percent of tomatoes are culled out and at the retail level, 13.6 percent of tomatoes are discarded. From the study, it was established that proper storage after harvest at the farm is one of the major limitations. At the moment, they serve more than 50 farmers. Their current target is to cut at least 20 per cent of farmers’ postharvest losses. According to Habiyambere, the concept of MoFresh was put together during the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic. Before then, the entrepreneur was busy working on another startup that provided data science and artificial intelligence. His inspiration came after being nominated for an incubation programme hosted by the UNOPS S3i Global Innovation Challenge which brings together entrepreneurs, corporations, academia, investors and other innovators to provide creative ideas and solutions. “The main area of activities was researching the effect of postharvest losses and looking at what solutions would fit the demand and the market,” Habiyambere said. “Having cold storage, MoFresh Hub, near the farm provides a way to stock produce and increase its shelf life. With that, farmers or anyone dealing in the value chain will have ample time to find a good market,” he said. MoFresh Box, on the other hand, provides a transport solution to cut the percentage of post-harvest loss incurred during transportation. They charge Rwf3, 000 per box per day. “A combination of cold solutions for cooling, at the farm level, and for transportation helps farmers, transporters, exporters, or anyone else in the value chain,” he added. Adia Ikirezi, a fruit vendor in Kigali now makes profits ever since she started using the MoFresh Hub” cold rooms where she often keeps two to three tons of imported oranges. “Previously, I would incur some unnecessary losses due to my oranges getting bad before I could finish the stock,” she said. “I am now storing oranges in the cold room and this has seen me increase their shelf life before reaching the local market. I sell them when needed and I am now making some good money because they rarely go. I end up selling all the stock at my own pace.” Norman Mugisha, who has an e-commerce platform and shop near Kimironko market, is using MoFresh transportation boxes to deliver fresh produce to different clients including clients in the Eastern province. Mugisha told Doing Business that he now saves up to 10 percent when he uses MoFresh boxes. “These boxes keep both quality and quantity of delivered products, which has seen me maximize my returns, something that wasn’t happening before,” he said. At the moment, MoFresh Hub stores can hold up to three tons depending on the type of product while MoFresh transportation boxes store between 20 and 30 kilos. For the storing period, Habiyambere said, it depends on the type of produce and the inside temperature. For instance, at room temperature (15°C-25 °C), it may last one week while between 3 °C to 8°C it may last up to three months.