A modular greenhouse is helping farmers become climate-resilient

There are nearly 100 million smallholder farmers in India who are real-life magicians, using their secret spells to grow the yummy food we eat every day! But here is something you might not know — for two-thirds of these farmers, their expenses are way greater than the hard work they put in!

This has been happening for many, many decades now. And guess what, this is getting worse and worse each year, thanks to climate change. Farmers globally, including those in India, are seeking cost-effective and efficient solutions to mitigate crop loss and reduce income uncertainty.

Understanding this reality, a team of bright minds decided to take things into their hands. They believed with all their heart that they could change all this for good!  Kheyti dreamed big - like, really big! They imagined a world where every farmer, no matter how big or small their land was, could have access to the best of technology and services, just like the farmers in the US who own thousands of acres of land! 

How Kheyti Sprouted from a Heartfelt Encounter

One day, a young boy named Sathya Raju Mokkapati was walking through the fields. While walking, he saw something that made his heart ache with sadness. He saw a farmer eating mud to fill his empty belly. The sight left an everlasting mark on young Sathya's heart, and he knew he had to do something to make a difference.

Thirteen years later, in 2015, something incredible happened. Sathya joined hands with his friends Ayush Sharma, Saumya Sahay, and Kaushik Kappagantulu to set up Kheyti — an initiative to turn smallholder farmers into smart farmers by helping them adopt technology solutions.

Source: https://earthshotprize.org/ 

Kheyti created something amazing—a magical Greenhouse-in-a-Box! It is like a treasure chest filled with wonders! Inside, you will find low-cost tricks and tech-filled surprises! But that is not all. The best part is that this box can triple the income of the farmers! That is some real magic, right? 

Why are Kheyti Greenhouses a game-changer for smallholder farmers?

Earlier, greenhouses were used only for growing exotic vegetables like broccoli and lettuce. But Kheyti changed the game. Now, local vegetables like cabbage, cauliflower, leafy greens, and even potatoes can be grown in these greenhouses. 

Source: Kheyti website

What is this Kheyti Greenhouse-in-a-Box all about? 

Imagine having your very own mini farm inside a greenhouse! That is exactly what the Greenhouse-in-a-box does. It is like a cosy, protected home for plants to grow and thrive, no matter what the weather is outside. As farmers can grow more food with less water, these greenhouses not only help us get bigger and tastier crops, but also bring cheer to farmers' lives by boosting their income.

Let’s break down its benefits. 

???? Super Water Saver: Crops grown inside this greenhouse need 98% less water than crops grown outdoors, that is because Kheyti’s greenhouse use a super smart watering system that saves a lot of water. It also means farmers can save water and still grow healthy, yummy fruits and vegetables.

???? 7 Times More Yield: Greenhouses can produce seven times more crops compared to traditional farming methods. So, farmers can grow more food and have plenty to share with everyone! 

???? Cost-saving: Kheyti’s Greenhouses cost 90% less than standard greenhouses. This means farmers can earn more money from their crops and live better lives. They cost anywhere between INR 80,000 and INR 2,00,000, while others cost around INR 25,00,000.

???? Investment in the Future: With extra money, farmers can invest in their farms and even their children's education. Education is like a superpower that can help them, and their families succeed! 

Earth's Protectors: Greenhouses are not only great for farmers but also our planet! They use less water and fewer pesticides, keeping the environment happy and healthy. 

Source: https://www.instagram.com/p/CYtGIyHLxaY/ 

Why does Kheyti's greenhouse model stand out?

Kheyti's special greenhouses are remarkable in how they help small farmers in a big way. 

This greenhouse is made with a special cloth that has a shiny coating. This helps control the temperature inside and protects the crops from harsh weather.

Kheyti helps in building groups where farmers can help each other, and they teach them cool things about farming. They especially help single women who own farms. They can even use the extra money to help their kids go to school. 

Explaining how the model works, Sathya says, “We build houses to live in safety and to protect ourselves from environmental factors like heat, rain, insects, etc. Likewise, a greenhouse helps plants thrive. Our greenhouse cuts off excess heat by 2-4 degrees Celsius, reduces pests by 90 per cent and saves 98 per cent water as compared to open-field conventional irrigation.”

The intent behind this, he says in a TED Talk, is that while we cannot cool the entire planet in one day, it is possible to create a climate for a small portion of farmers’ land to be suitable for farming. 

Kheyti's magic did not go unnoticed! It caught the eye of the one and only Prince William himself! He was so impressed by Kheyti's incredible work that he decided to honour them with a prestigious award called "Earthshot."

Kheyti has successfully equipped 1,500 farms with its innovative greenhouse solution till now. But the journey has just begun! Their ambitious goal is to empower 50,000 farmers with a Greenhouse-in-a-Box by 2027.

Leave A Comment