PUNE 21/NOV/2014: With a third of their vegetables and fruits going waste due to spoilage, farmers are turning to start-ups such as Ecozen, ColdStar, Promethean and Coolify for providing access to solar and hybrid-powered cold storage solutions. Ecozen Solutions, started in 2010 by IIT Kharagpur alumnus Devendra Gupta along with Vivek Pandey and Prateek Singhal, offers solar-cum-hybrid cold storage to farmers in rural India.
\"The product works on solar power and uses thermal storage as the energy back-up. The cost of the solution depends on the commodity to be stored. Normally, a fruit farmer should be able to recover the cost within three years and earn at least twice of what he is currently earning,\" said Gupta. Since horticultural commodities are perishable and there is no storage, farmers are forced to sell their produce at throwaway prices during harvest time, said Gupta, adding that there has been price fluctuation of more than 200 per cent in certain commodities.
\"We aim to de-risk the farmer against these fluctuations and also play a bridging role in the national food supply chain.\" The co-founders have invested about Rs 15 lakh so far in Ecozen, which has a revenue target of Rs 20 crore by 2015-16. Similarly, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) student Rajat Sethi, currently pursuing his MBA, has co-founded Coolify as a new-generation cold storage solution, targeted to serve the back-end of the fruits and vegetable supply chain in India.