India is one of the largest producers of fruits and vegetables, but the per capita availability is low as post-harvest losses account for about 30% of total production. We’ve come across several stories where farmers have to throw away the horticultural and floricultural products because of their extremely short shelf-life. Therefore, to preserve the shelf-life of these products, farmers required cold storage facilities.
This is when Nikky Jha, a boy from Bihar came into the picture. Nikky Jha has provided a solution to the farmers and horticultural product producers.
Nikky Kumar Jha grew up in the village of Naya Tola Dhundela in the Bhagalpur district of Bihar. He is an Electrical and Electronics Engineer and environmentalist by training. Being the versatile person Nikky Kumar Jha is, he has expertise in renewable solar energy, medical electronics, internet of things, agri tech, healthcare tech, and machine learning.
Inspired by his father, Nikky was curious to know how different stuff work ever since his childhood. His schooling also played a significant role in making him passionate about science. He bunked literature and art classes and spent more time in physics and chemistry experiments.
The Initiative by Nikky Jha
Growing up in the Naya Tola Dhundela village in Bihar, Nikky observed how farmers growing horticultural crops would discard a third of their total production. It mainly happened because of inadequate storage facilities and electricity.
He also noticed that small farmers had to travel to big mandis, and they experienced water loss during transportation. Because of this, they had to sell their fruits at a lower price in the late evening. At times stray animals and drunkards destroyed their produce.
The Product – Make In India Sabjikothi
SaptKrishi Scientific Pvt. Ltd. has developed a Sabjikothi / Preservator, also called Microclimate Storage, which is a Make in India low-cost transportation solution to help farmers. They use this social innovation for storing horticultural produce ranging from 10 to 40 days depending on the type of crop. Sabjikothi / Preservator is quite instrumental in preventing the wastage of fruits and vegetables. It requires a liter of water per day and 20 watts of electricity either on-grid or off-grid.
Sabjikothi / Preservator can be assembled on different types of transport vehicles such as e-rickshaw, mini-trucks, or hand carts. It can transport fruits and vegetables without contamination and pathogen from the field to the market without any water loss or decay. The storage is self-adaptable and sustainable and doesn’t require cooling or chemicals to extend the shelf-life.
How Sabjikothi / Preservator Prevents Wastage of Fruits and Vegetables
Sabjikothi is a low-cost storage solution for preserving and transporting horticultural crops to the market. It can preserve produce up to 10 days to 40 days depending on the type of crop. Sabjikothi requires 1 liter of water every day and about 20 watts of electricity, which can be on-grid or off-grid. It also has a battery backup of one day, along with an option for solar charging. The storage does not require any additional cooling or chemical to extend its shelf-life of the horticultural crops.
It extends the shelf-life of the products through the construction of a high-humidity, sterile isolated chamber of plasma. This helps in oxidizing ethylene into small molecules, which in turn delays the browning and ripening of produce. It also regulates the activity of the antioxidant enzymes.
Sabjikothi is self-adaptable, sustainable, and is also a green solution. It costs around Rs. 10,000 for the capacity of up to 500 KG. This affordable technology is directly available for everyone from individual farmers to cooperatives to ensure the durability of the produce. This is potentially one of the best low-cost transportation solutions to stop the wastage of fruits and vegetable and this can help solve India’s hunger problems.
Urinalytics – Another Innovative Idea by Nikky Jha
Urinalytics Pvt. Ltd. is incubated at IIT Kanpur and IIT Patna with a deep commitment to reducing the number of preventable deaths because of undiagnosed diseases. And they will do this through a revolution in rapid urine testing. Their Make in India solution involves a range of plug-and-play devices that can be fitted into any type of urinals and toilets where people can urinate and get their health records on their email. Against this test, they need to pay a small one-off-cost.
This innovation has helped several people as it provides an array of options such as visiting nearby local health clinics/pathology labs, etc. for further diagnosis. The Urinalytics device is fitted with several sensors which can measure the physical, chemical, and biological properties of urine. It can also sense large protein molecules and biomarkers for chronic kidney disease.