Empowering rural farmers with reliable storage facilities
BRAC Cold Storage began as a small project in 1980. It set up operations in Comilla in south-eastern Bangladesh because of its easy accessibility by land and water, and started out by giving the farmers loans to use BRAC’s cold storage facilities. The loans cover a maximum of 60 percent of the farmers’ storage costs.
As BRAC Cold Storage allowed these farmers to keep their products fresh for longer, enabling them to sell more of their potato crop over a longer time, many became financially independent and no longer needed loans in order to store their crop, so the project started operating like a profitable enterprise rather than a microfinance programme.
Originally, the enterprise had intended to provide reliable cold storage to fruit and vegetable farmers, as well as traders with leftover produce. However, since fruits and vegetables require very particular, costly preservation processes, BRAC Cold Storage soon limited its storage facility to potato farmers only.
Best practices and quality services
BRAC Cold Storage has for the capacity to store 60,000 bags of potatoes, each bag holding approximately 80 kilogrammes. BRAC Cold Storage is different from other cold storage facilities because of the quality of service it provides. Unlike many competitors, BRAC Cold Storage does not skirt the high diesel costs to properly run the generators for the sufficient cooling of potatoes.
BRAC Cold Storage has plans to further expand its storage facility in Comilla and continue to serve potato farmers