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Saptkrishi Ushers in SabjiKothi towards Minimal Horticultural Wastage

By auther pic. Divya Tiwari

September 14, 2020

Saptkrishi Ushers in SabjiKothi towards Minimal Horticultural Wastage

Sabzikothi- Fresh Vegetables on wheels

Can you imagine a world that need not worry about sky-rocketing prices of fruits and vegetables? Simply due to easy availability of modern devices that support extremely short shelf life of horticultural and floricultural produce? It is a known fact that 70% of the entire horticultural produce, amounting to about 105 metric tonnes gets lost every year, accounting for 40% of the total cost. As a result, fruit and vegetable prices are twice of what they would be otherwise.

 

The intervention of a social enterprise like Saptkrishi becomes critical at this juncture. A pioneer in devising horticulture preservation, Saptkrishi as a social enterprise becomes important since India is primarily an agricultural country. The innovative technology brought in to reduce colossal waste of fruit and vegetable can be stopped by the use of Sabjikothi, the innovative Preservator incubated by IIT Patna and accelerated at IIT Kanpur, in order to impact 40% of total cost that unnecessarily goes up due to lack of proper storage and transportation facility for horticultural produce.

“The situation motivated us to work in this field and develop an optimum cost-effective solution for all storage and transportation needs. And that's how we came up with our Preservator, Sabjikothi. Through this preservator, we aim to revolutionize the agricultural market and uplift the hands that feed us all,” said the Saptakrishi Team headed by Mr. Nikky Kumar Jha. The cold storage chain is underdeveloped with poor infrastructure and extremely high initial investments. As a social enterprise, we are determined to work towards agricultural innovation and the transformation of rural South-East Asia.

 

The organisation is determined to work on reducing waste by the development and provision of affordable technology directly to individual farmers, cooperatives, and traders to ensure better post-harvest outcomes. “Our enterprise has developed a Sabjikothi, which is a low-cost, microclimate based, storage cum transportation solution for extending the shelf-life of fruits and vegetables anywhere between 7 to 30 days. It requires 20 watts of power and 1 litre of water per day, and no further maintenance is needed to transport up to 300 KG of horticultural produces,” said the founders of Saptkrishi.

Saptkrishi's Preservator is a one of its kind solution that has been developed to address the storage and transportation needs of farmers and traders. Being the forerunners in this innovative product that is keen to benefit thousands of farmers, Saptkrishi is far ahead of cold storages in terms of technological advancement and quality assurance as well. The energy calculations and analysis disclose the product Sabjikothi being way more energy efficient than cold storages. Compared with cold storage units, the produce determined no weight loss, water loss or any other perishability in the fruits and vegetables stored inside for 15 days. This was a validation from a third-party credible validator named, SKAUST-J, after being shortlisted for the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojna (RKVY).

 

Considering the current pandemic situation of the Novel Corona virus outbreak, saving food produce becomes essential. A resulting huge chunk of the produce not reaching the market at all makes matters worse in the current situation. Critically,lack of proper storage to preserve the produce leads to large amount of food and horticulture wastage. Also, transportation to selling point due to possible risk of spreading virus is delayed.The situation is compounded when there is no proper transportation facility and storage, which leads to exposure of fruits and vegetables to pathogens, dust and pollen grains in the entire supply chain.

Moreover, possible chances of contamination of fruits and vegetables are high at any point in the supply chain. Saptkrishi comes to the rescue of many such farmers who would like to address the issue of perishability of horticultural commodities.

 

Sabjikothi is currently implemented on ground with a pilot trial in Bhagalpur, Bihar with a farmer group who are using the transportation model to store and carry their produce to the market. The results are overwhelming with an increase in the profit of farmers by around 30%. The farmers are making full use of the technology that is one of its kind, microclimate-based, low-cost storage cum transportation solution. Storage has a regulator that can switch the microclimate, which is adequate to store a broad range of horti-products. This provides single storage for multi-commodity.

Sabjikothi doesn’t require cooling neither chemical to extend the shelf-life of fruits and vegetables, all it needs is one litre of water per day and 20 watts of power and no further maintenance is needed. The storage is designed in a way that it can be assembled on any suitable means of transportation and even on-field and on-farm infrastructure can be created. There is no power fretting for the farmers as Sabjikothi comes with an integrated battery that lasts for a day and an option for solar charging.

 

The farmers are more than delighted to use the inside storage, where a high humid near sterile ethylene oxidising microclimate is created that leads to decrease in pathogenic loads. This has reduced the possible chances of contamination from foreign particles in the entire supply chain.The impact of UV-C and Ozone integrated with the storage even has the potential to kill corona virus hence fresh and safe fruits and vegetables can be made available to the end customer so easily.

 

The aim of the organization is to provide maximum support to all kinds of beneficiaries. This is why the preservator is designed for small and marginal farmers with most cost-effective storage especially designed to cost under INR 10,000. This can extend the shelf-life of horticultural produces to a week. The storage is designed in a way that on-farm and on-market infrastructure can be created and horticulture produce can be saved from getting wasted.

 

Moreover, the preservator suits the farmers as a transportation cum storage solution. It is designed in a way that it can be easily assembled on any suitable means of transportation like mini-trucks, e-rickshaw, thelas or even an auto. An easy foldable mechanism enables the storage to be packed in a bag. The entire storage comes up with a battery backup of 14 hours on a single charge and it is powered by solar energy as well, accommodating up to 300 kg of horticultural produce. On the other hand, customised exclusively for traders, this version of Sabjikothi has an increased capacity. It can accommodate up to 500 kg of horticulture products and comes up with a sensor that can sense the air quality inside the storage and gives the auto-update once the stored commodity started deteriorating.

 

Indian Innovators Association’s Gold Certificate was proudly awarded to Saptkrishi preservator, Sabjikothi that proves to be a boon for the horticulture industry during the current pandemic. Awarded for the highest social impact by Alumni Association of IIT Kanpur, this product also won the Arunachal Pradesh Social Entrepreneurship meet, 2020. Adding yet another feather to its golden cap, Sabjikothi was globally shortlisted among top eight start-ups by UNCDF for their flagship program Nepal Innovation Challenge Agritech. Thanks to the recent collaborations with Nab Foundation, Reliance foundation and Impact Experience Centre, Sabjikothi is all set to change the landscape of fruits and vegetable preservation in the years to come.

 

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Impact-Story is a series on development and CSR interventions leading to some impacts on the ground. If you have a project, innovation or intervention that has changed the lives of a few people or a community, please share a brief note at shilpi@csrbox.org. Our Team will get back to you after validating the information for a detailed coverage.

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Author

Divya Tiwari is a seasoned content writer with over 20 years of work experience. She holds an MBA degree from IIM Indore along with Triple Masters Degrees in Development Studies, Media Business Management, and Philosophy. She has worked in various capacities with National and International NGOs, Top Corporates, and several Ministries for projects that range from Training, Capacity Building, E-Learning, to Media and Communications. She has written and hosted English programs for All India Radio, Delhi. Her deep interest in Animal Welfare helps her engage with various Animal Welfare Organizations across the country in various capacities. She is an advocate of a cruelty-free sustainable lifestyle and regularly blogs on related issues and solutions. Apart from her writing engagements, she is also a social entrepreneur helping rural communities take their craft to centrestage. She is based out of Delhi

 

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