At a time when youth is very much inclined towwards careers and technology, four guys stood as an example for concentrating on the neglected region of agriculture. Kheyti, a Hyderabad based startup, working on designing, adapting and implementing solutions that benefit farmers in improving their land and crop. They were chosen for the award from the ten finalists in the prestigious Mass Challenge Israel contest that saw participation from over 500 companies in 40 different countries. Kheyti had to go through a rigorous three-month process before winning the title of ‘Diamond Winners’ of this year’s contest. Each one of them was awarded a cash prize of $42,850.
The award was given as the selectors were impressed with their “Greenhouse-in-a-box” idea. Though the idea of greenhouse is a pretty old one, what made them unique are their implementation techniques. The greenhouse they had developed is an affordable, modular greenhouse bundles with full stack services, which uses 90% less water and grows seven times more food which gives farmers a steady dependable income.
The idea behind the emergence of this startup when the founders interacted with over 200 farmers across Telangana and Maharashtra in early 2015. The team realised that getting it right on just technology was not good enough. The yields were damaged due to several reasons such as excess heat, increase in pests and decrease in water levels. They felt that the crop needed a protective cover that reduces the effect of such external damage inducing factors. After 9-12 months of extensive research the team came up with the idea of a low cost modular greenhouse-in-a-box. Its two layers of shade netting the top would decrease the temperature by 5-8degrees celcius, and insect netting would keep almost 90% of the bugs away. To make it a concrete model, they also worked with ICRISAT to develop this idea. Other than this, they also provide fertilisers to farmers and also make them interact with small chain retailers, making their work easier and profitable.
Farmers are excitedly participating in their workshops as it costs them less than 1.6 lakhs for establishing a greenhouse which in return produces a yield with much more profit. Soumya one of the founders is eager to spread the idea with farmers of both the states. If that indeed happens, it’ll be a boon to the farmers and Kheyti would truly become a high yield running startup.
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