Following the success of establishing an Africa Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Cooling and Cold-Chain (ACES), the University of Birmingham, the UK government and the Government of Telangana (India) have collaborated under a Memorandum of Understanding in early 2022, founding an India Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Cooling and Cold-Chain (ICES/ ACES- Asia).
In India 25% of produce is lost due to lack of access to refrigeration, and as this country is the second largest producer of vegetables and within the top 10 producers of meat and fish, this means the food loss amounts to a staggering 526 million tons globally. This illustrates how essential the need for adequate and effective cold-chain systems are for India. 1 billion people impacted by global hunger could be fed, 1.5 million can be treated for vaccine prevented diseases.
The India Centre of excellence aims to increase food security, access to food preservation and medical services, economic benefits for farmers as well as reducing gender, health, social and economic inequalities.
In India, greenhouse emissions from food cold-chain are expected to double by 2027 in the absence of any interventions. Research into achieving low greenhouse emission cold-chain systems in India will combine the expertise of academics, investors, businesses and stakeholders in the ‘farm to fork’, ‘manufacturer to arm’ process.
The outreach centres across India will train, increase capacity and upskill local communities. The project will look to develop affordable, low carbon, cooling systems that are fit for market.