Michael Reid with the University of California, Davis presents on cooling strategies for smallholder farmers at the 2016 Symposium on Horticultural Science in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
Temperature is an important factor in reducing postharvest losses of perishable crops. Keeping temperatures low or cooling can prolong the life of perishable crops. The type of cooling method depends on the product, packaging, and cooling source. Harvesting should be done at the coolest time of the day and products should be shaded after harvest. Strategies for inexpensive cooling involve utilizing a cool media such as cold water or ice. Mechanical refrigeration is an efficient method of cooling, but commercial units are expensive. The CoolBot is a controller that enables domestic air conditioners to maintain low temperatures. Cold rooms with the CoolBot installed have been effective, but challenges include expenses and electricity supply.