The onion market is a very crucial one in Asia because it provides livelihood to thousands of people. Despite that, the market fluctuation rate is extremely high – about 800%. This puts the farmers involved in onion cultivation at a huge risk.
While most people are unaware of this serious problem, Kalyani Shinde, a computer engineer from Lasalgaon, Maharashtra, has come to the rescue of these farmers. Kalyani is herself the daughter of an onion cultivator and was therefore aware of the woes her father had to face.
Kalyani’s journey began when she was recruited by a Tata Consultancy Services Foundation-led incubation centre, Digital Impact Square. The company was based in Nashik. While working there, she started to study in detail about the various factors that led to the fluctuations in the onion market.
After thorough research, she was able to figure out that the major problem was storage.
One of Kalyani’s biggest challenges was to convince her family to let her take a plunge into the world of entrepreneurship. Neither she nor anyone else in her family had much knowledge about the functioning of the entrepreneurial world. However, owing to her passion, she was finally able to establish Godaam Innovations in 2018.
Kalyani was able to secure an initial funding of Rs 3 lakh from the Directorate of Onion and Garlic Research Centre. This amount helped her in setting up their first model.
The aim of Godaam Innovations is to use technology and reduce the wastage of onions that are stored in warehouses. They are able to detect the emotion of glasses that occur from spoiled onions by making use of the Internet of Things (IoT) technology.
The start-up engages in real-time tracking which allows them to alert the farmer immediately after they detect any onions getting spoilt. Based on their initial models, Goddam Innovations have managed to reduce the wastage of onions by 20 to 25 percent.
Besides that, the start-up makes some structural upgrades to the traditional warehouses of the farmers. They ensure that the onions being stored in the warehouse will be able to maintain 30% water content. Farmers can choose between three packages that the company offers- low, medium, and high. Each of these packages is based on the minimum amount of structural changes that need to be made to warehouses and their storage capacity.
Goddam Innovations is still in its initial stages of growth. While their models have proved to be very successful, it is difficult for Kalyani and her team to test new ones as the harvesting period lasts only from March till April. With the current COVID-19 pandemic, they weren’t able to test their latest upgrades this year.
However, the future is bright for this start-up as more and more farmers are turning towards it for help.