Agritech start-up Saptkrishi - headquartered in Bhagalpur - has developed the Sabjikothi or Preservator, a wheel-mountable, microclimate-based storage solution that is cost-effective and portable. It extends the shelf life of fruits and vegetables from three days to 30 days.
Although India is the second-largest producer of fruits and vegetables in the world, there is an enormous amount of produce spoilage and wastage. The UN Food and Agriculture Organization says 40 percent of horticultural produce worth $8.3 billion is wasted every year due to inadequate logistical support, lack of refrigerated storage, supply chain bottlenecks, poor transport, and underdeveloped marketing channels.
This is exactly why Nikky Kumar Jha, with his sister Rashmi Jha, developed agritech start-up Saptkrishi in 2019. The start-up launched its first product, the Sabjikothi or Preservator, a low-cost, IoT-enabled chamber-cum-storage that can be used to extend the shelf life of horticultural produce from three days to 30 days.
The wheel-mountable, microclimate-based storage is cost-effective and portable. “The produce wastage numbers are worrisome, but what is even more concerning is the ground reality of small and marginal farmers. Small landholder farmers have to commute daily to big mandis, and significant water loss is experienced during transportation. They have to sell their produce at half price in the late evening due to short shelf life and lack of storage options to keep it fresh. Sometimes their produce is destroyed by stray animals or drunkards,” says Nikky Kumar Jha, Co-Founder and CEO of Saptkrishi.
This causes direct economic losses to farmers, and is unaccounted for in the supply chain. Nikky says this gap in the agri-sector needed a technological innovation, which is where Sabjikothi, a storage and transportation solution, steps in.