India stands among the largest producers of fruits and vegetables in the world, however India’s per capita availability is quite low due to post harvest damages which accounts for up to 30 percent of the total production. Inorder to prevent the damages farmers require to use cold storage facilities which keeps the fruits and vegetables fresh and increases their shelf life, but the use of these cold storages are expensive and it also requires continuous electricity extensive logistics.
This issue has been solved by Nikky Kumar Jha from Naya Tola of Bhagalpur district, Bihar because while growing up he saw nearly one-third of farmers produce would go waste as they didn’t have any adequate facility for their preservation.
Nikky Jha an MSc student, as part of his dissertation in Ecology and Environment Studies from Nalanda University Mr. Jha developed an off grid cold-storage device keeping in the mind the state of electricity supply in the villages.
One can say that Mr.Nikki worked a lot toward the smooth functioning of this device however flaw emerged that it failed to work in the monsoon season, when he discussed the pressing issue with his sister Rashmi Jha a biotechnologist she emphasized on the fact that her brother was doing the same that others were doing that is providing cooling through a device that provides artificial cooling. Rashmi suggested her brother to come up with a device that does the job of preserving the veggies and fruits i.e extending the shelf life of farmers’ produce without using refrigeration.
Today Nikki and Rashmi Jha his younger sister are 25 year old startup owners. They together started a joint venture called Saptkrishi, which develops a unique device called Sabjikothi, a tent like structure that can reportedly extend the shelf life of veggie and fruits from 3 to 30 days. All this IoT- enabled storage device requires 10 watts of electricity either on or off-grid, and a litre of water per day. It saves farmers 30% of their horticultural crops that often goes to waste without an adequate storage facility while also saving them a tremendous amount of electricity since it operates on a small lead-acid battery that generates 10 watts a day.
The sabjikothi can be accommodated on a thela, e-rickshaw and it can store upto 30-40 kgs of fresh vegetable produce. The next step of the brother sister duo is to shift to lithium ion batteries from lead batteries. Through sabjikothi Nikki Jha has tried to cover a huge gap in the market that has proved beneficial for farmers as they can now take their produce to a mandi 14-15 kms far without the fear of veggies and fruits getting perished. Sabjikothi has immense potential in Agro-business model and brother and sister duo of Nikki and Rashmi Jha has a long way to go.