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Ecolife Design Summit

Ecolife design summit started from 18 th July to 4 th August 2023. The summit brings together two mechanical engineers and Ecolife design team in the same design space. Ecolife is comprised of a multidisciplinary team of like minded innovators that are transforming the agricultural sector through research, innovation, and empowerment. Eng. Kyle Gassier –an adviser to Ecolife and expert mechanical engineer. Dan Scharff a semiretired and an adjunct instructor at Chabot College, worked as a design engineer for various companies in Silicon Valley.

Research, and empowerment Opportunities.

1. Cold storage is a challenge in many countries, due to many factors – including, insulation

material scarcity, limited energy access and limiting briefs among farmers. Food loss due

to lack of cold storage can create volatility and cause high price shocks, even in rural

areas. Storage facilities are providing mechanisms that can improve food security.

Summit output:

  • Ice based thermal phase storage material to be built and considered for use in Ecolife cold storage facilities. This is an engineering solution that will reduce the need for solar batteries, improve the cooling efficiency at night and lower cost of the solar system. This will be led and tested by Eng. Kyle.

  • Insulation and structural block for cold storage facilities. This is an innovative mechanism to ease construction and improve adaptation of locally available low-cost solar powered walk-in cold rooms, without increasing pressure on environment.

  • Energy-accessible, storage and delivery models that increase efficiencies in solar powered cold storage facilities, milling and processing, eliminating food losses in the value chain.

  • DC thermal storage solutions for cheaper and more efficient solar systems for rural communities.

2. livelihood Impact and sustainability assessment. The potential of Agripreneurs to unlock

employment opportunities in rural Uganda requires sustained and targeted support.

University graduates from Makerere and Agripreneur at the farmer post-harvest center in

the rural Uganda will be trained and mentored respectively.

Summit output:

  • Six agri-businesses evaluated and enrolled for a mentorship programme. Identify market-based solutions to improve market access for smallholder farmers especially through post-harvest management. Clear identification of the potential customer and recognizing the role of aggregators in the supply chain.

  • Twenty University engineering students trained. University students selected to participate in a design seminar at Makerere University from 24th to 28th July 2023. The seminar will be conducted by Eng. Dan to equip graduates with mechanical computer aided design program and its use in agriculture. Such trainees will be an important resource in Ecolife’s future design activities.

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