Taking a revolutionary greenhouse to scale

New

Can a simple greenhouse transform lives, arming small farmers against unpredictable weather and reducing income variability? Surprisingly, the answer is: Yes. Kheyti, a social enterprise based in Hyderabad, has designed, makes and sells a modular low-cost 320-square-metre greenhouse, bundled with end-to-end support to assist every stage of growing, harvesting and sale (providing financing, agricultural inputs, training and market linkages). Thanks to Kheyti’s “greenhouse-in-a-box”, poor farmers are able to increase their yields and the predictability of their produce using 90% less water. We’re supporting Kheyti to continue to improve its product and services and expand their reach to serve 10,000 farmers by 2022.

Duration
2019-2022
Focus area
Sustainable Livelihoods and Ecosystems
country
India
partner
Kheyti

Context

The Indian agricultural crisis has deepened with each passing year. Agriculture has become increasingly unremunerative and climate-dependent, despite feeding the entire country and still constituting its biggest source of employment (one in four Indians is a farmer or agricultural worker).

While the poor economics of smallholder farming have many causes (including fragmented landholding and very high market volatility), two of the most important are lack of access to affordable high-yielding technology and unpredictable climate conditions.

Action

Aiming to provide a pathway out of poverty for small farmers, Kheyti developed a modular low-cost greenhouse and put it to the test.

The design occupies just 2% of the average land area used by small farmers, costs 50% less than regular greenhouses and features a drip-irrigation system that enables farmers to use 90% less water on average. Breathable netting covers the structure to prevent pests entering, while a cloth shade at the top reduces the temperature inside to protect the crops from excess heat.

In addition, each greenhouse comes with end-to-end support, including high quality seeds, fertilizer, training and mobile-based advisory services, flexible loans and connections to vendors and markets.

Kheyti is the only enterprise to offer small farmers this “one-stop-shop” greenhouse solution.

Expected results

Kheyti aims to reach 10,000 small farmers by 2022, helping them achieve increased yields and a steady income (an average of $100 profit per month, equal to a 100% increase in farm revenue).

Long-term strategy

Kheyti is currently operational only in Telangana, a drought-prone state in south-central India. It plans to reach 50,000 small farmers across Telangana state by 2023. Kheyti’s vision is to see 1 million small farmers move out of the recurring cycle of poverty and become climate-resilient by 2025.