Your VCCA in Nigeria

Type. project

Funding. This project is funded by the MasterCard Center for Inclusive GrowthThe Rockefeller Foundation, and giz.

Duration. 2 years (2021-2023)

Collaborations. BASE, and local service providers in Nigeria.

Contact. Thijs Defraeye (principal investigator).

Project background. 

Nigeria suffers more than 40% post-harvest fresh produce losses due to improper storage facilities, unreliable electricity, poor distribution and poor processing for farmers. Small-holder farmers lose more than 40% of their income due to food spoilage while agriculture represents 22% of the country’s GDP and two-thirds of the labor force. Most perishable food such as fruits and vegetables are produced in remote areas, with long distances between the farm and the market. Due to lack of access to a cooling facility for the fresh produce at the farm-gate, the quality of the fresh produce that is sold in the nearest market is often quite low and also at a very low price. Off-grid cooling as a service is available nowadays, however, these service providers do not know where and why to deploy a cold room for small-holder farmers. To solve this complex problem, we aim to develop an open-access data-science tool called Coldtivate for both small-holder farmers and cooling service providers in Nigeria.


Onwude, D., Motmans, T., Shoji, K., Evangelista, R., Gajardo, J., Odion, D., Ikegwuonu, N., Adekanmbi, O., Hourri, S. and Defraeye, T., 2023. Bottlenecks in Nigeria's fresh food supply chain: What is the way forward?. Trends in Food Science & Technology. DOI

 Celebrating the launch of Your Virtual Cold Chain Assistant (LinkedIn post by BASE)

Your VCCA – Coldtivate app pilot


 Daniel Onwude
 (Project lead)
 Phone +41 58 765 7892


 Kanaha Shoji
 Research assistant
 (Data collection and physics-based digital twins)
 Phone +41 58 765 7917


 Chandrima Shrivastava

 PhD student
 (Physics-based digital twins)
 Phone +41 58 765 7801

 Joaquin Gajardo Castillo
 (Machine learning and Mobile app development)
 Phone +41 58 765 7922

Yuyan Lu
Master student
(Machine learning)
 Phone +41 58 765 7433


Funding agency: