Wednesday, June 19, 2024
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The innovative agri-tech startup, Kheyti, is on a mission to change the way we think about farming and income generation for small farmers. Founded in 2015 by Sathya Raju Mokkapati, Ayush Sharma, Saumya Sahay, and Kaushik Kappagantulu, the company has developed a revolutionary solution to the problems faced by small farmers in India. The “greenhouse-in-a-box” method uses 90% less water than standard greenhouses, grows seven times more food, and gives farmers a steady and dependable income.

The idea for Kheyti was born during a leadership development program in which Mokkapati and Kappagantulu traveled to hundreds of villages in India to understand the issues faced by small farmers. The team found that many farmers were looking to generate extra income each month, and that the answer lay in greenhouses. These structures could minimize risk from the vagaries of climate and regularize incomes.

Kheyti’s greenhouses are affordable, modular, and durable. They cut off heat, prevent bugs, and save water, making it easier for farmers to earn higher revenue. The startup has adapted greenhouses for wider use, with almost all Indian vegetables, from cabbage to cauliflower, leafy vegetables and other common ones like potatoes, being grown in the greenhouses. Kheyti has installed their first greenhouse in 2017 in Siddipet (Telangana) and expanded to seven states, including Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Odisha, benefiting over 1,500 farms.

By reducing the standard one-acre size of the greenhouse to one-tenth, the startup has brought down the cost from Rs 30 lakh to Rs 60,000, making it accessible and affordable to more farmers. “Agricultural incomes are dependent on climate risk,” says Mokkapati. “Kheyti provides a model of farming which is economically viable and environmentally friendly too.”

The Earthshot Prize, also known as the Eco Oscars, is a global competition that seeks to recognize and award innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing environmental problems. Kheyti’s greenhouse-in-a-box solution was recognized for its potential to not only improve the livelihoods of farmers but also contribute to global food security and sustainable farming practices.

Kheyti’s founders are now looking to scale up and expand their operations to reach more farmers and make a greater impact. Mokkapati says, “We want to reach more farmers and make our solution accessible to everyone. We believe that this is just the beginning of the greenhouse revolution and we are excited to be a part of it.”

The innovative solution by Kheyti is a shining example of how technology and entrepreneurship can be used to address the pressing issues of food security and environmental sustainability. With more support and investment, Kheyti’s greenhouse-in-a-box solution could be a game-changer for farmers and communities around the world.

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