Katolla Chander is a capsicum farmer based out of Doddballapur, Karnataka. Owing to a greater demand in northern and western India, Katolla's harvest of about 6-8 tonnes a month is usually packed and shipped to markets in Pune, Mumbai, and Delhi by train. However, with crops such as capsicum, the challenge that farmers face is that the capsicums soften in transit and as a result, get rejected upon arrival. On average, farmers like Katolla have 5-7% of their total produce rejected which translates to about ₹17,500 per crop cycle in lost revenue.
While most farmers account for this 5-7% loss when planning their crops, Katolla was looking for ways to reduce the margin of harvest that gets rejected. While researching, he was introduced to Trigger, an organic solution, developed by Hi7 Agri Biosolutions, specifically to increase the post-harvest shelf life of vegetables and fruits. Eager to test the product (considering that, for the whole crop cycle, his investment would increase by only ₹3,200), Katolla decided to begin working with the Hi7 team and learnt the process of using the product pre-and post-harvest.
As he began harvesting and transporting the capsicums, he noticed that there were fewer complaints and rejects from the vendors. The capsicums would reach the market without losing their quality and what this meant was that a smaller percentage of the harvest was getting rejected upon arrival. In due course, Katolla became the preferred farmer among the vendors thereby also building a reputation in the market and increasing demand. On the whole, over one crop cycle, Katolla was able to gain an additional ₹45,000 against his investment of ₹3,200 for the Hi7 Trigger. "We are farmers and we think about the cost of every single rupee that we invest. This product has shown the results in maintaining the quality and freshness," says Katolla, as he stands in his field of capsicums getting ready to be harvested and shipped to their markets.
Hi7 Agri Biosolutions is one of the semi-finalists of the Cisco Agri Challenge. Co-founded by Gavaskar Jayakanthan, Hi7 manufactures sustainable agri inputs such as biomolecule formulation to overcome the post-harvest losses by extending the shelf-life of horticulture produce. To know more about the semi-finalists, click here.