Eliminate post harvest losses by creating women agri-entrepreneurs powered with UN award winning solar technology
Describe your relationship to the place you’ve selected.
Dr. Vaibhav, CEo and co-founder of S4S comes from Marathwada region of Maharashtra, where Aurangabad is located. Vaibhav has seen farmers life and associated post harvest losses during his childhood very closely. When he joined for chemical engineering he realized that the principles that he learnt can be applied in agriculture to solve this problem. He then pursued PhD in the topic and choose home ground as the first commercialization space. Apart from Vaibhav, other four co-founders also come from same region and it has helped us to keep emotional connect high and provide detailed view on eco-system.
Apart form that, this region is the highest farmer suicide prone area where in India over quarter million farmers have done suicide due to farming poverty.
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.
Aurangabad district is located in Marathwada region in Maharashtra State, India. The region is drought prone and away from main markets. Farmers landholding is mainly between 0.8-2 hectares and most fall in marginal and small holders.
It is one the most suicide prone areas where farmers have committed suicide due to poverty. Main crops are cotton, maize and soybean. Farmers earn average of USD 200/acre/crop putting daily income to less than USD 2/day.
Horticultural crops are not suitable due to lack of market access. Over 1/3rd population is malnourished and women go through inter-generational malnutrition issue resulting in malnourished children.
Challenges: Describe the current (2020) and the future (2050) challenges that your food system faces.
1. Malnutrition: Farmers don't have access to nutritious food mainly during non-rainy season.
2. Poverty: Due to dependence on low value crops, lack of market to horticultural crops and post harvest losses
3. Lack of money to adopt new technologies, market and financial services
4. Culturally women are inferior in family with lack of decision making power
5. Lack of industrial electricity to set up any processing facility
6. Post harvest losses result into GHGs
7. Limited focus from policy makers for financial and technological inclusion of the area
Address the Challenges: Describe how your Vision will address the challenges described in the previous question.
S4S Technologies is the food tech company serving to global dehydrated food market of USD 58 billion. With its patented UN award winning solar dehydration technology, women farmers cum entrepreneurs produce dehydrated vegetables at the farm gate and sell to S4S. S4S aggregates these produce, does quality check and secondary processing at its ISO grade factory and sells these products to a range of B2B and B2C consumers. S4S farmers earn extra money by reducing farm level losses and creating value added products where as S4S earns by top up margins on these unique and nutritive dehydrated products.
S4S is working with over 2,700 women farmers with monthly revenue of USD 200,000 serving over 900 customers.
S4S provides solar dryers to farmers to process vegetables and buys back processed produce from them. It helps i) to reduce post harvest losses ii) produce preservative free nutrition rich products for improved nutrition for rural families iii) assured income via buy back to farmers, iv) improves nutrition v) gender equality and livelihoods vi) Reduce GHG by solar energy and reduction of post harvest losses vii) Access to technology and finance
Full Vision: How do you describe your Vision for a regenerative and nourishing food future for your Place and People for 2050?
S4S is creating the self sustainable model that is financially, ecosystem wise, environmentally scalable and sustainable. With our commercial growth, we are seeing 20% MoM growth in our business and partners. An 5 years period, we look to create following impact:
Create 50,000 agri entrepreneurs
Environment: Save 1.8 million tons CO2
Diets: Support 20 million population with supply of nutrition rich products
Economics: USD 400 million revenue annually
Culture: Uplift social status of over 300,000 women farmers
Technology: Provide improved technology access to over 250,000 people
Policy: Be a part of policy that drives micro finance, women empowerment