Economic empowerment of rural farmers through Solar Conduction Dryer for dehydration of agro products

Economic empowerment of rural farmers through Solar Conduction Dryer for dehydration of agro products

IndiaMumbai, India
Organization type: 
Project Stage:
$50,000 - $100,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Solar Conduction Dryer (SCD) is a solar energy based initiative for agro-processing, leveraging local knowledge & resources, which will target to:
1.Reduce food wastage and generate additional income through dried products
2.Develop a sustainable business model for economic empowerment of farmers

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

India produces about 50 million tons of fruits and 85 million tons of vegetables per year, but just about 2% of this goes for processing. Over 20-30% is spoiled due to improper handling and storage, and the rest of the produce is consumed in fresh form. Due to economic stress on farmers, quarter millions of farmers committed suicide in India. The major reasons attributed are low prices to the commodity and post-harvest losses of food.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

Solar Conduction Dryer is the 1st technology that uses novel combination method of heat transfer in drying. This unique approach makes SCD free of electricity, costs Rs. 5000/m2(3 fold cheaper than other solar dryers), 25% efficient (highest in world) and gives payback in 6 months. SCD, using principle of controlled radiation, produces dehydrated nutritional food, with 45% better nutrition than sun dried product. This makes SCD appropriate solution for Bottom of Pyramid farmers. The market for dehydrated products lies in both developing and developed countries. This multidimensional technology has potential to improve economic situation of farmers. Dehydrated products get higher market value and higher profits.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

SCD pilot is run at 50 different place where solar drying of agro and marine products is a proven food-processing technology, which reduces food spoilage generate higher market value and higher profits. A summary of few cases is given in following table. The values alone interpret the potential for farmers: 1.Raw Onion for making 1kg dehydrated onion:Rs. 50,Dehydrated Onion:Rs. 100/kg (farmers get Rs.50 extra) 2.Raw garlic for making 1kg dehydrated garlic:Rs.200,Dehydrated Onion:Rs. 350/kg (farmers get Rs.150 extra) 3.Raw grape for making 1kg dehydrated raisin:Rs.80,Dehydrated Grape:Rs.150/kg (farmers get Rs.70 extra) 4.Raw fish for making 1kg dehydrated fish:Rs. 250,Dehydrated Fish:Rs.500/kg (farmers get Rs.250 extra)

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

For storage of food other options are cold storage and drying.Cold storages unfeasible for poor & rural farmers having shortage of electricity,high capital cost& unavailability of skilled man-power.Drying can be practiced under open sky or by electrical and solar dryers.Open sun drying suffers from issues of low nutrition,colour-flavor loss,contamination and 10-30% losses during drying. Electrical dryers are complex, need electricity and their operating cost is high (Rs. 10/kg).Good solar dryers are complex, need electricity.SCD is electricity free,affordable,modular solution for farmers,
About You
Science For Society Techno services
About You
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About Your Project
Organization Name

Science For Society Techno services

Organization Country

, MM, Mumbai

Country where this project is creating social impact
How long has your organization been operating?

1‐5 years

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Your Solution
Founding Story: Share a story about the “Aha!” moment that led you to get started and/or to see the potential for this to succeed.

In India prices of fruits & vegetables are variable through out the year. Price of daily used commodity like onion varies from Rs. 10 to 100/kg. So common man can not afford it when the prices are very high and farmers are not getting proper revenue due to price fluctuations. Due to perishable nature, farmer has to sale this at lower cost. This happens to innovator's family member who is onion farmer. He was in economic stress and hence innovator started studying about statistics of India. Then he came to know that 66 million tons of fruits and vegetables are spoiled annually in India. Dehydration and cold storage are available option to increase shelf life but either these are electricity dependent or unaffordable, unhygienic solutions. so

Select Sector(s): To which of Unilever's categories of sustainability does your solution apply?

Nutrition, Waste, Sustainable Agriculture, Smallholder Farmers.

Measurable Impact
Audience: Who have you identified as your customers/recipients and why? How will you get your solution to them or engage them in your initiative?

Farmers in rural area are target customers, who do not have access to continuous electricity and also suffer from losses perishable agro-products.Farmer co operatives, women self-help groups, small food processing industry, agriculture and horticulture institutes are identified as target customers for SCD.
Women Entrepreneur can be created through SCD.This can be achieved through collaborating with farmer co operatives,local NGOs and through govt. schemes. Lot of training and awareness is required

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date and expected impact in the future?

Malnutrition in India is more common than Sab-Saharan Africa 35% of world’s malnourished children live in India.36% of reproductive women,who give birth to child,are undernourished.(UNICEF)Reasons attributed to problem of undernutrition are poverty resulting into poor purchase ability to buy food and maintain dietary variations,food shortage across off-seasons when agri-products are not available on farm etc On the other hand 66 mil ton of fruits and vegetables,and fish-meat go to waste in India due to lack of post-harvest processing and storage.This results into food shortage, poverty that leads to malnutrition.These interlinked problems can be solved with SCD as it increases shelf life of food products upto one year,made them available for consumption & sale.1 small dryer can process 1ton material annually, so there is scope of 66 million units of SCD! Pilot done with 50 SCD units.

Growth, Finance & Leadership
Scaling the Solution: How do you intend to scale your activities over the next two years (e.g., reach new markets, diversify solutions, etc.)? What will make this possible?

a)Develop scale up strategy that focusses on techno-economic-social value creation by SCD and that can be followed in any developing world
b)Set up business unit that can benefit from economies of scale in terms of manufacturing, marketing, sales, distribution, maintenance of SCD and market linkage for dehydrated product
c)Build case studies to prove economic and social (health and nutrition) viability for small holding women farmers, housewives, SCD distributor, SCD manufacturer, dehydrated product selling
d)Create market demand for SCD and dehydrated products
e)Create network of value chain partners with whom project can be scaled up across various geographies
f)Create strong documentation to attract investment and interest in SCD

Financial Sustainability: What is your business model to ensure financial sustainability?

We'll set up business unit that can benefit from economies of scale in terms of manufacturing, marketing, sales, distribution, maintenance of SCD and market linkage for dehydrated product.We will work with national solar mission for large no. installation of SCD units. For purchase of SCD,farmers pay partially from their pocket, and government may provide 30% subsidy.They may get loan at 6% per annum under self-help group scheme of banks.

Experience: Please provide examples of any previous entrepreneurial initiatives you have pioneered.

SCD is designed and developed by innovators at Science for society. This technology is awarded and recognized by UNESCO, Bill & Melinda Gates foundation, Dell social innovation challenge, University of Texas, NUS, Govt. of India etc. These awards and recognition inspire and helped to work on this project and carry out pilot with 50 units of SCD.