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Hydrogreens Introduces ‘Kambali’ as the Solution to India’s Fodder Crises

Feeding good fodder to cattle is one of the major requirements for milk yield, but India is facing a serious lack of fodder.

Binita Kumari
Vasanth Madhav Kamath and Jeevan M, Founder of Hydrogreens
Vasanth Madhav Kamath and Jeevan M, Founder of Hydrogreens

As we all know, various parts of India are currently plagued by a "Fodder Crisis"; it is high time to think about and take action accordingly. The prime reason behind the ongoing fodder crisis is that farmers are facing a shortage of dry fodder due to the wheat crisis, which in turn, has been fuelled by an unusually hot summer and climate conditions due to heatwave.

The fodder crisis is so severe that animals are dying of starvation in some states. Farmers across North India are planting mustard instead of wheat during this ‘Rabi’ season. This is also because mustard requires less water compared to wheat.

Needless to say, feeding good fodder to cattle is one of the major requirements for milk yield, but India is facing a serious lack of fodder. The dairy industry is often held up as a great example of India’s Agri success story. India has nearly 540 million livestock animals, the most in the world. It produces 190 million tonnes of milk, the highest in the world. However, India’s milk productivity is 50% less than the global average. In addition, India already has an acute cattle feed crisis.

The land available for fodder production has remained stagnant at 5% of the arable land for decades while the cattle population and milk demand keep burgeoning. There is a 12% gap between the demand for green fodder and its availability. Lack of fodder means India’s dairy farmers are operating at only 50% of theirs. 

In recent years, India is experiencing a 23.4 percent shortage in dry fodder availability, 11.24 percent in green fodder, and 28.9 percent in concentrates. Needless to say, the lack of fodder and the consequent drop in milk yield is causing financial losses to the country’s dairy farmers.

In a bid to solve the above-mentioned problems in India’s dairy and livestock farming value chain, Hydrogreens has designed and innovated a low-cost, microclimate controlled vertical farming system with a ‘grow house’ called Kambali’ -- a ‘micro climate-controlled system’ that can ensure year-round availability of fresh, pesticide-free, high-protein green fodder, and can operate even in 40 to 50 degrees Celsius temperature with just half a bucket of water!

Hydrogreens has also come up with a unique model of ‘fodder-as-a-service’ - through this unique service-based model, the company sells the fodder directly to farmers, instead of the farmers growing it. With its solutions, Hydrogreens is enabling an increase in the milk yield by an average of 2 liters across their customer base and improving the income of the beneficiaries by at least ₹60 per cattle per day by around ₹1800 per month even for the farmer who has only one cattle.

Founded in 2019, Hydrogreens is an enterprise that caters to dairy and livestock farmers across the country and has established an active on-ground in various states like Karnataka, Orissa, Bihar, Jharkhand, Gujarat, Rajasthan, and Andhra Pradesh.

The Enterprise has collaborated with the National Institute of Animal Nutrition and Physiology (NIANP) and has also been recognized by The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR)

Hydrogreens Agri Solutions is also a part of the Powering Livelihoods programme – jointly run by CEEW and Villgro Innovations Foundation to transform India’s rural economy through clean energy-based livelihood solutions. The Powering Livelihoods initiative has supported Hydrogreens in many areas such as guidance for product enhancement, strategy for commercial deployment of systems, network expansion, operational research for the identification of targeted regions, pilot project demonstration, and proof-of-concept, engagement with stakeholders, partnership endorsement, and so on.

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