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This Agritech Startup Solving India's Fodder Crisis & Empowering Dairy Farmers in Rural India

In some states, animals are dying of starvation due to the fodder crisis. During the 'Rabi' season, farmers in North India are planting mustard instead of wheat. This is also due to the fact that mustard requires less water than wheat.

Shivam Dwivedi
Paddy Straw
Paddy Straw

‘Fodder Crisis’ is currently afflicting various parts of India; it is an extremely important time to consider and act accordingly. The primary cause of the ongoing fodder crisis is a lack of dry fodder due to the wheat crisis, which has been exacerbated by an unusually hot summer and climate conditions caused by the heatwave.

In some states, animals are dying of starvation due to the fodder crisis. During the 'Rabi' season, farmers in North India are planting mustard instead of wheat. This is also due to the fact that mustard requires less water than wheat.

Hydrogreens Agri Solutions is a Bengaluru-based enterprise that was founded in 2019 to address the supply gap of quality fodder for Indian farmers' cattle and livestock. The enterprise aims to improve the economic well-being of small and marginal livestock and dairy farmers in a sustainable manner by providing them with the appropriate technologies and solutions for high-quality fodder options.

The dairy industry is frequently cited as a shining example of India's Agri success story. India has the most livestock animals in the world, with nearly 540 million. It produces the most milk in the world, 190 million tonnes. However, India's milk productivity is half that of the global average. Furthermore, India is currently experiencing a severe cattle feed shortage.

For decades, the land available for fodder production has remained stable at 5% of arable land, despite a growing cattle population and milk demand. There is a 12% gap between demand and availability for green fodder. Due to a lack of fodder, India's dairy farmers are only operating at half capacity.

In recent years, India has experienced a 23.4 percent shortage of dry fodder, an 11.24 percent shortage of green fodder, and a 28.9 percent shortage of concentrates. Needless to say, the country's dairy farmers are losing money due to a lack of fodder and the resulting drop in milk yield.

Hydrogreens has designed and innovated a low-cost, microclimate controlled vertical farming system with a 'grow house' called 'Kambali' in order to solve the aforementioned problems in India's dairy and livestock farming value chain — a microclimate-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 developed a unique 'fodder-as-a-service' model, in which the company sells the fodder directly to farmers rather than the farmers growing it.

With its solutions, Hydrogreens is increasing milk yield by an average of 2 litres across their customer base and increasing beneficiaries' income by at least Rs 60 per cattle per day, or around Rs 1800 per month, even for farmers with only one cattle.

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