Published: 19th January 2019
These Odia boys are taking Gujarat by storm with 'Go Aahar' which helps farmers grow fodder in a controlled environment
In boxes that vary from 12x8 feet to 60x30 feet, farmers can grow fodder within seven days. Humidity, temperature, room pressure, carbon dioxide and nitrogen — everything is controlled
So, we picked up the phone to talk to Bodhisattwa Sanghapriya about the start-up, Invent Grid, which the VSSUT alumnus started with Om Prakash Das. But while the venture which uses technology to solve existing problems in the market is still going strong, we are informed that the duo have started another venture under Invent Grid. Go Aahar caters to medium-scale farmers and helps them grow fodder for their cattle in literally a huge box which has a controlled environment, using root misting and spectral light therapy. “While the world population is projected to go beyond nine billion in 2050, we will need to produce 70% more food,” quotes Bodhisattwa from a UN report. And with already shrinking agricultural lands due to urbanisation, mining and industrialisation, where is space for cattle to graze? Enter, Go Aahar.
The machine is insulated with polycarbonate multiwall, is made of GI Square channel for durability and costs Rs 2.5 lakh
In boxes that vary from 12x8 feet to 60x30 feet, farmers can grow fodder within seven days. Humidity, temperature, room pressure, carbon dioxide and nitrogen — everything is controlled. All this, without any soil, chemicals and minimal water. One 12x8 feet facility can grow 100 kg of grain fodder. Now, this is on the professional front. The backstory is that Bodhisattwa and Om Prakash come from farming backgrounds and have always wanted to do something for their own people of Basudebpur, something that would directly impact them. “Whenever we would go back home for vacations, they would ask us what we are up to. I realised that if I tell them about IoT or ML, they may not understand as it doesn’t directly affect their livelihood,” says the 23-year-old. So the duo decided to take on Gujarat (because of the number of dairies present there) conducted many field trials in the Western state and in the process, were discovered by Gujarat Technological University Innovation Council, where they are currently incubated. They were even given a grant from the Start-up Gujarat fund and invariably, were recognised by the Government of Gujarat.
Green, all the way: Fodder grown in Go Aahar's facility (Pic: Go Aahar)
Of course, their journey hasn’t been as easy as we are making it sound. After understanding the expenses and the effort that go into fodder procurement, they developed this facility (after making about 40 prototypes!) to ensure that the fodder grown is organic, mold and bacteria-free. They also spent ample time in making sure the fodder grown is as nutritious as can be. As of now, they have sold 100 machines across India, including in Gujarat, Odisha, Assam and more. “Next, we want to mass produce the machine and reduce its cost by 30% and adding to that, want to see it directly to the farmers instead of going through unions, which we are doing now,” says the co-founder. Their focus is on marketing as well to ensure that Go Aahar truly impacts those it set out to impact — the farmers of this country.
How fodder is grown
- Seeds are soaked in aerated water for eight to 12 hours
- They are placed in trays and grown under a controlled temperature
- This is done with or without artificial light for eight days
- When sprouts form shoots, they are cut and fed to the cattle
For more on them, click on goaahar.co.in