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Delivering an innovative cold storage solution powered by biogas / renewable energy to the Braco small farming community

Braco, Jamaica

Featured image for the project, Delivering an innovative cold storage solution powered by biogas / renewable energy to the Braco small farming community

Construction of a small-scale digester has begun that will be used to power a cold storage facility to benefit small farmers at Braco, Trelawny. Photo courtesy of Carol Lue.

AgriShare is an organic waste recycling initiative located less than 10 mins from Braco, Trelawny.  Its focus is to help promote sustainable and climate-smart agriculture in Jamaica by delivering composting and biogas solutions to its tourism and farming sectors. With its current environmental permit to develop and operate three small-scale digesters, AgriShare plans to not only provide organic fertilizer to local farmers but also hopes to harness the biogas created by the digesters as a renewable energy source to power a cold storage facility to benefit the Braco community.  Affordable and accessible cold storage is needed to reduce crop spoilage, allowing for sustained yields and favorable prices to strengthen and improve farming livelihoods.  Therefore, we are seeking a scientist or an engineer who can help to facilitate a collaborative relationship between AgriShare and a suitable cold storage technology provider.


About the Community

AgriShare is a woman-owned organic waste recycling startup in Jamaica, founded by Carol Lue.  Evolving from the success of her first start-up, CaribShare, Carol brings in-depth and practical on-the-ground expertise in developing and managing biogas projects as well as creating collaborative business models with farming groups.   For three years, CaribShare developed and operated a large-scale digester that recycled food waste from eight hotels into biogas and organic fertilizer.  Through its “Waste to Fertilizer’‘ program, the organic fertilizer was donated to small farmers at Braco to help promote sustainable and climate-smart agriculture.  The biogas was flared and not utilized at the time.

AgriShare is now planning to continue the “Waste to Fertilizer” program by developing three small-scale digesters but also would like to harness the biogas to power a cold storage facility to benefit the Braco small farmers and to provide a “Renewable Energy Cold Storage” program.

Braco is a small coastal farming community in the parish of Trelawny.  Situated inside the coastal zone, the area, however, has been highly contested for tourism resort development.  As large-scale tourism development and overfishing have been major sources of pressure on its coastal zone ecosystem, Braco is seeking to strengthen its climate change adaptation and sustain agriculture as a resilient source of livelihood for its community.  Currently, the area is being cultivated by 15-20 active farmers (40% are women), engaged in production both for the local and hotel markets. The average farm size is 5 acres.

Through working with Thriving Earth Exchange, Carol hopes to establish an off-grid, renewable energy cold storage facility that would improve the marketing capacities of these farms as well as their climate change adaptation efforts.


About the Project

AgriShare would like to connect with an industry or academic scientist, or engineer with knowledge of the various cold storage technologies and their providers. Ideally, we would like the person to help identify and compare three to four different providers to determine which one would best align with and support our social and environmental goals (i.e strengthening farming livelihoods and promoting climate change adaptation through renewable energy).

Acting as our technology advisor, the person would validate the proposed technologies and their appropriateness to meet our needs.  In addition, the person may also help to customize the cold storage solution, which would include determining the right scale/size given the quantities of biogas to be produced as well as the availability of a 5 kW solar system that could also help to power the facility.

Other project activities would include (to be done by AgriShare):

  • Developing and operating a small-scale 50 m3 digester to process agricultural waste to produce biogas (the digester has the capacity to process 1 ton of organic waste daily),
  • Finalizing the budget and fundraising to implement the selected cold storage technology, and
  • Implementing the cold storage demonstration.

Outputs of the project would include:

  • Collection and recycling of 5 tons of organic waste weekly (14 months),
  • Once the biology of the digester is established, producing 112.5 m3 of biogas and 300 kg of organic fertilizer daily (14 months). The fertilizer would be shared with the Braco farmers.

The main outcome of the project would be the implementation of a “Renewable Energy Cold Storage Program” to help the Braco small farmers reduce crop spoilage and improve their marketing capacities.  Essentially, the project would serve as a demonstration and cooperative model to other small farming communities on how to develop and harness renewable energy to better strengthen their livelihoods and adapt to climate change.


Timeline and Milestones

April 2023 – Finish Project Scope

April 2023 – Apply for $1000 grant from Neighborhood Fund

April 2023 – July 2023 – Scientist/Engineer Match

August 2023 – Construction of Digester 1 completed

September – November 2023 – Identify and evaluate 3-4 appropriate cold storage providers

December 2023 – Select provider and finalize budget to implement

December 2023 – Digester 1 operational and producing biogas

January – June 2024 – Fundraise for budget

July – September 2024 – Implement cold storage demonstration

October 2024 – Cold storage built and available to farmers

Project Team

Community Lead

Carol Lue Headshot

Carol Lue – Community Lead – Founder of AgriShare

Carol Lue is a social entrepreneur and sustainability planning specialist focused on implementing entrepreneurial approaches to addressing food waste and climate change related issues locally and globally.

Carol pioneered the use of biogas technology to create the first organic waste recycling program for the local hotel sector in Jamaica. Her initiative, CaribShare, cultivated a recycling culture that allowed eight hotels in Montego Bay to divert food waste from landfills to create clean energy and organic fertilizer. Carol is a committed champion for organic waste recycling as well as for development of a circular economy between the local tourism and farming sectors. CaribShare hosted Jamaica’s 1st Food Waste Conference for local hoteliers in January 2021 to help mainstream the reduction, recycling, and management of food waste holistically.


Community Science Fellow

Amanda Hoffman-Hall headshot

Dr. Amanda Hoffman Hall is an Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies at Eckerd College in sunny St. Petersburg, Florida, where she teaches courses in Environmental Studies, Environmental Health, Remote Sensing, and GIS. Dr. Hoffman-Hall earned her Ph.D. in Geographical Sciences at the University of Maryland College Park in 2020. Her research focuses on environmental health and justice, spatial epidemiology and prediction of infectious disease risk, and algorithm development for satellite mapping of land cover and land-use change. She believes that the best outcomes of health and environmental research arise when projects prioritize community knowledge and expertise, and scientists, activists, community members, and policymakers work together towards just solutions.

She has authored publications in the journals GeoHealth, Remote Sensing of Environment, Remote Sensing, and Environmental Research Letters, but is most proud of her two littlest “co-authors,” her 7 and 4-year-old children.

Scientist Wanted

Scientist Role

We are hoping to work with a scientist who first and foremost understands the social and environmental goals of this project (i.e strengthening farming livelihoods and promoting climate change adaptation through renewable energy).  We need someone with industry connections and/or a high-level knowledge of cold storage technology who can ideally recommend and make initial contact with 3 to 4 providers with sustainability goals that would support ours (i.e. willing to work with and customize a small-scale solution for an underserved community with limited to no funds). The primary responsibility of the scientist would be to create an advisory report or presentation that details 3-4 cold storage provider options.

Desired Skills and Qualifications (bulleted list):

  • Scientist or engineer with knowledge and experience implementing cold storage technology
  • Comfort and experience with rural and agricultural settings
  • Experience facilitating communication and negotiation between disparate groups
  • Respect for different cultures and understanding of operating in the developing world context
  • Understanding of the power of community and appreciation for community impacts
  • Strong listening and collaboration skills
  • Willingness to connect science to local concerns
  • Relaxed, easy-going personality with a good sense of humor
  • The scientist can visit the community in-person (optional)


Thriving Earth Exchange asks all scientific partners to work with the community to help define a project with concrete local impact to which they can contribute as pro-bono volunteers and collaborators. This work can also position the scientists and communities to seek additional funding together for the next stage.

Interested in volunteering as a scientist? Apply now!

Collaborating Organization(s)

Agrishare logo

CaribShare Biogas logo