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Gramline- Restoring Agriculture Lands And Providing Alternate Food sources

To Provide budget quality food in adequate quantity to everyone.

Photo of prakash veer kushwaha
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Lead Applicant Organization Name

Gramline Commerce Technologies Private Limited

Lead Applicant Organization Type

  • Small company (under 50 employees)

If part of a multi-stakeholder entity (i.e. team), provide the names of other organizations and types of stakeholders collaborating with you.

1. GSF Accelerator (Currently Incubated under this) http://www.gsfindia.com/ 2. Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) Recognized https://dipp.gov.in/ 3. Mentorship from Agroy India Division (Private company in agri business digitigation spread across american, europian and indian continent).

Website of Legally Registered Entity

www.gramline.in

How long have you / your team been working on this Vision?

  • Just beginning now

Lead Applicant: In what city or town are you located?

Kanpur

Lead Applicant: In what country are you located?

India

Your Selected Place: what’s the name of the Place you’re developing a Vision for?

Kanpur Area, an agricultural backward district in uttar pradesh state of india.

What country is your selected Place located in?

India

Describe your relationship to the place you’ve selected.

Kanpur is situated at the bank of river "Ganga" and is considered as a agricultural and industrial heartland of uttar pradesh state in india. There is 69% of land that is used for cultivation and has 200000 farmers. I born and brought up in a village "Sithmara" of kanpur and so have many childhood memories associated with this place. I have seen my ancestors and so my father doing farming here and that is the reason agriculture has a special place in my life. I have seen struggling farmers along with my family in getting quality input in budget price and other agri resources used in farming. 

After completing schooling till 6th grade in my village at the age of 10, I shifted to a urban school in kanpur city and did my high school there. I had the glimpse of my childhood that haunted me throughout my school time. After a series of bad events in my family, I somehow managed to get into top indian engineering university and chose to pursue computer science with a dream of helping my farmer people through technology. When All this was happening, my father was busy in assisting local farmers to increase their earning. He helped farmers facilitating markets for their produce, connecting input manufacturers for breeder seed production and guiding them in selecting right input for their crop. After completing my studies, I co-founded an agritech company "Agrowave" focusing farmer's challenges that got into forbes asia list 2018. I visited my village often and saw people spending their entire day earning in buying ration for their families and one day I decided to move forward with a single dream of helping farmers and facilitating budget food to my people.

Kanpur region has worst soil health (Highly alkaline) that has high impact on crop yield and ultimately less profit and sometimes losses to farmers. I chose this place because We have a strong network of stakeholders involved in agri input supply chain and that is giving us the advantage in operating in this region.

Describe the People and Place: Provide information that would be helpful for an outsider who has never been there and may have no context about this Place to better understand the area.

Out of total population of Kanpur, approximately 78% people live in the villages of rural area. Urban people are mostly employed by private companies, SMB's and government institutions. People of rural areas involved in brick & mortar type small businesses earning enough for their livelyhood and farming. About 80% of farmers are small holder farmers cultivating .5-1 hectare of agricultural land and rest have big farms. Rural people are very hospitable, humble, honest and hard working and they perfer honesty and dignity over money. Almost everyone like to eat spicy food made from green vegetables, pulses, chicken, mutton with chapati/bread made from wheat floor. Though hygine is a big issue for rural people and they frequenly get ill.

Rural kanpur is well connected with roads and people frequently use public and private buses to commute to city. Middle class rural population own two wheeler and a very few four wheeler budget cars. Village roads are either rcc or interlocked but full of pits. Most of the houses have concrete walls and ceiling without paint and saffron mud floor with entrances decorated with white, yellow and red color paintings. You can easily see men and women gossiping in groups in their free time. For every 15 villages there is a fresh vegetable and fruit market opens twice in a week (monday and friday). People visit these markets to buy fresh vegetables and keep stock for complete week or 3-4 days till next time market opens. Women wake up early in the morning and start sweeping their mud house after that they go for bath and start cooking food usually 8am in the morning and the same food is eaten throughout the day. Men start their day with a pinch of tobacco in their mouth and after having their morning tea they leave for their work. Farmers go to their farmlands, shopkeepers go to open their shops and cattlemen leave to feed their cattles.

The climate of the state is tropical monsoon. The average temperature varies in the plains from 3 to 4 °C in January to 43 to 45 °C in May and June. There are three distinct seasons - winter from October to February, summer from March to mid-June, and the rainy season from June to September. 35 per cent of rural men and women were found to be undernourished, and 42 per cent of children were underweight and it clearly shows the lack of quantity and quality of food available to eat.

What is the approximate size of your Place, in square kilometers? (New question, not required)

3425

What is the estimated population (current 2020) in your Place?

2160000

Challenges: Describe the current (2020) and the future (2050) challenges that your food system faces.

India is the home of 1.3 Billion people and is expected to add 250 Million more people by 2050. Around 15% indian popuation is undernourished because of lack of food and unhealthy food practices. India has the lowest vegetable and grain production yield and expensive animal based food (meat, chicken and fish) that worsen the food security problem. 

Unavailability of quality and budget agri input has direct impact on crop production and farmer's earning. Bad seed quality and ineffective pesticide contribute major role in less crop prouction. Market is flooded with bad quality input products that are marketed by retail stores in return of higher commission on sale. With the declining cultivation land because of urbanization and reducing farmers in the region, food security is at stake and it is not sure if we will be able to meet the demand by 2050. Extensive use of chemical fertilizer and pesticide is degrading the soil badly. Soil health management is crucial for ensuring sustainable agricultural productions and maintenance of biodiversity. 

Community of organisms living in the soil is being damaged by the misuse of pesticides. Chemical pesticides are poison and toxic and exposure to them can cause number of health effects. Farmers are forced to use toxic chemical pesticides and fertilizers by flooding them into the market and making profit out of that without even caring about it's harmful effect on environment and human. Traditional agri input distribution channel mostly function offline that makes it untraceable and inefficient for retailers and suppliers in the supply chain and low product visibility for farmers create information asymmetry causes blind use of these toxic chemicals. Though government started few initiatives to help marginal farmers by allowing them to form groups (FPO'S Farmer Producer Organization) and giving them subsidised input for better crop production and less environmental pollution but it is not on larger scale causing very few farmers to be benefitted from this. Region has maximum number of slaughter houses in the entire posing serious threats to environment that generations to come will be forced to deal with. Raising animals for food is one of the biggest causes of water pollution in the region that pose some serious threat to ground water and small/medium rivers flowing in the region.

People are so poor that they can't obtain good food. Over the time this situation only get worsen as country will have 250 million more people to feed by 2050.

Address the Challenges: Describe how your Vision will address the challenges described in the previous question.

Gramline vision addresses the region's challenges by providing technology driven, integrated multi-sided agri input plaform to reduce information asymmetry, increase product visibility, reduce chemical dependency and promote sustainable agriculture. We are promoting the regenerative agriculture through ideologies like agroecology and holistic management where we help farmers in improving food yields for balanced nutrition, strengthen fair market for their produce and enhance healthy ecosystem.

We are building a network centric B2B alternate agri input supply chain platform that will bring all stakeholders (Input merchant, manufacturers, distributors etc) involved in agri input distribution online under one platform. Through this we help Agri input companies in penetrating their quality and budget products into the market. Because agri input has major contribution in crop production yield, According to researches, quality seed contributes to 25% for a good production yield and likewise crop protection products and nutrients have significant role in increasing production yield. Pesticide consumption in this area is very low compared to other region in india and lowest in the world. It will help farmers in getting quality and budget input products from thier nearest shop and help them in purchasing more crop protection products and use them in order to increase the production yield.

We are majorly focused on reverse climate change by rebuilding soil organic matter and and restoring degraded soil biodiversity. Gramline help farmers to shift to bio pesticide and fertilizer from chemical based toxic inputs by promoting these organic input through it's retailer network which are still the largest input sourcing platform for farmers in the region. Platform partners with the remote businesses or retailers selling Agri input to farmers, greenhouses, FPO'S (Farmer Producer Organizations) and connect them to distributors and manufacturers to source budget and eco-friendly inputs directly enabling a seamless m-commerce experience for everyone. Increased production yield could only be possible if enhanced seed, quality nutrient and latest machinery brought in use by farmers and we ensure that every farmer have access to it in their nearest retail shop.

Apart from plant based food, We also have plans to make lab grown meat that will help people in getting animal based food in budget and quality. The idea behind promoting the practice of lab-grown clean meat is to allow consumers to enjoy eating animal products without supporting inhumane and unsustainable industrial animal agriculture.

High Level Vision: With these challenges addressed, now provide a high level description of how the Place and the lives of its People will be different than they are now.

With these challenges addressed, Farmers will have access to quality and budget agri inputs that will lead to increased crop production yield and their income too. With lab grown meat production, dependency on animals will be reduced and clean meat will be available in market for consumers to eat. People will have access to quality food without intaking any harmful material. This way we are ensuring that people get plant based and animal based nutricious food.

How future will look like in kanpur region by 2050 -
1. Farmers will be producing quality crop as described by UNCTAD and they will be selling to domestic market and also exporting to international market. They will be earning higher margin than now as the produce will be of international standard.UNCTAD Link:https://unctad.org/en/docs/ditccom200616_en.pdf

2. Land will be fertile enough that farmers will have to spend less on crop nutrient and protection products that ultimately benefit farmers.
3. People will have option of eating completely lab grown meat. It is possible that 15 years down the line, you are travelling to kanpur and you see burger king preparing non-veg burger made with cultured meat/lab grown meat. You could also see people buying cultured meat from a retail outlet and pet owners feeding cultured meat to their pets.

4. There will be an alternate online distribution channel for agri inputs that will specifically be focused on promoting bio pesticide, fertililizer and natural nutrient products for soil. Farmers will not have to rely on different people for consultation on agricultural and crop rlated issues, Now they will have a central place where they can get everything related to their crop whether it is advice, input products or other services.


With every day passing, We are achieving our goals towards a more livable region with healthy food and fibre accessible to everyone and increased chances of multifold the income of people involved in agriculture and agri related business.

Full Vision: How do you describe your Vision for a regenerative and nourishing food future for your Place and People for 2050?

Gramline believes that almost all the knowledge required to produce more food than eroding soil is available today. We just need to use that knowledge within a holistic paradigm, managing agriculture holistically, forming the policies that undergird it holistically. By putting regenerative agriculture at front we believe that it is less about agriculture and more about principles. Every farmer must find the set of practices that allow them to achieve a regenerative, profitable and realistically manageable falcrum on their arm. 

Gramline promotes inputs products that are environmentally sustainable and not harmful for environment (soil and air). We promote bio pesticide and bio fertilizers that have negligible harmful impact on environment as well as human body. We promote making lab grown meat that is more eco-friendly as compared to regular meat. It eliminates the need for livestock, which could reduce the use of energy by as much as 45%, reduce the use of land by 99%, and produce up to 96% fewer greenhouse gases. Moreover, it will significantly reduce the amount of water usage, as the standard production of just half a kilo of meat requires around 9000 litres of water, as compared to 94 litres required for lab grown meat. We focus on more environmentally sustainable farming and simultanously increase quality food production either plant based or animal based lab grown meat.

We have identified areas where kanpur food system falls short but Gramline is transforming it aggressively- 

1. Lab Grown Meat - While we don’t believe everyone needs to be plant-based, we strongly believe that everyone should be eating at least 80/20, ideally 90/10 (plant-based to animal based). And animal consumption must be converted to meat raised in labs. 

2. Helping farmers and getting them access to chemical free input-  Accessibility to nutrient rich foods remains difficult and we are ensuring this by growing and cultivating chemical free food and fibre. 

3. Making entire agri input value chain economically feasible and letting every stakeholder to earn more profit - From farmers, to retailers to distributors...the system is not designed to be economically prosperous for those who are growing crop and distributing the agri input and selling it. By providing an online platform and promoting chemical free input through it, we are ensuring them in making livable wage.Farmers are able to increase their production and people in the supply chain able to make better profit through transparency and traceability. 

4. Preventing environmental pollution and reducing/restoring soil degradation -  By promoting use of bio pesticide and fertilizer, saving soil to be degarded and increase the organic matter of soil. 

5. Driving community engagement to educate farmers -  We have our network of retailers selling input directly to farmers. Retailers help farmers in educating and advising them on selecting right input for their crop. it increases the overall community engagement and education in all aspect of the agriculture industry.

Goverment has also taken several steps to promote sustainable agriculture by subsidising bio inputs and co-founding bio input plant for manufacturing of organic input products by investing their capital. We are hoping this constant support from government in crafting supportive policies for private players like us in the business. Gramline vision is to provide a holistic approach for a healthy food system and to generate enough sources by 2050 for nutritious food and fibre in both plant and animal based diet. 

By doing all this, we are hoping that by 2050 kanpur region will have a super fertile land with ideal proportion of organic matter in soil and farmers earning increased by 40% than they are doing now. By 2050, People of the region will have access to helthy and nutrient plant based food and lab grown meat. Gramline vision is currently focused on kanpur region but has potential to eventually replicate on other parts of Uttar Pradesh state which has similar problems as kanpur. Most of these problems are general problems of entire uttar pradesh state that give us the opportunity to operate on state level addressing these problens. Gramline vision is not only for the people of Kanpur rather it's a ray of hope for entire state.

How did you hear about the Food System Vision Prize?

  • Website

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Team.pdf

Team & Supporter pdf

6 comments

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Spam
Photo of prakash veer kushwaha
Team

Hi @Nicole! You crafted a really strong vision Maati-Paani-Asha: Regeneration of Land, Health & Hope in the Face of Extreme Poverty & Climate Crisis for your region, Insiperd from it. Yes we are developing our technology to support B2B trade among stakeholders in agri value chain. However our cultured meat vision is for later stage in future as it requires a lot of support from food researcher community, policymakers, government institutions and it really would take a lot of efforts and resorces.
With every passing day, Internet penetration is increasing in rural areas and the youger generation is quite handy in using smartphones and mobile applications and they are adopting it as they have never before. One thing could be a problem for us is the local regional languages as we scale to other regions in our state and india.

Spam
Photo of Nicole Civita
Team

I hear you. The use of mobile technologies in region is growing and figures into our vision some a a result. Where we are, most speak Marathi, so language is less of a challenge, but as you scale out, you will have to address that for sure. Best of luck

Spam
Photo of prakash veer kushwaha
Team

Thanks Much Nicole. Best of luck for the next round!

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