India’s Greenhouse-in-a-box was among the five winners announced by the Prince of Wales, Prince William, in Boston, United States, on Friday. It is a sustainable solution for small-scale farmers developed by an Indian start-up, Kheyti, in Telangana, which has won one million pounds ($1.2 million).
Founded by Prince William, this was the second edition of the Earthshot prize, which has also been dubbed the ‘Eco Oscars’ and witnessed the presence of several celebrities who walked the green carpet. Kheyti won the prize in the Protect and Restore Nature category, which saw hundreds of entries from across the world.
Co-founder and CEO of Kheyti, Kaushik Kappagantulu, said that he had launched the solution for at least 100 million local smallholder farmers who are most impacted by climate change. The aim of greenhouse-in-a-box is to reduce costs and increase yields which in turn would help protect the livelihoods of these farmers.
This simple solution has bigger implications than the Greenhouse-in-a-box, which can grow crops while offering them shelter from unpredictable elements, including destructive pests. Notably, the plants in this greenhouse require 98 percent less water, while the yield is seven times higher than those grown outside. Furthermore, it also costs 90 percent less than an average greenhouse.
The start-up also offers training and support to the farmers in making sure the greenhouse is as effective as possible. Therefore, with less water and the use of pesticides, it also protects the environment while also helping smallholder farmers save money and resources.
“We are honored to be recognized by The Earthshot Prize this year. The world depends on its small-hold farmers, and yet their lives are amongst the hardest on earth,” said Kappagantulu. He added, “Our Greenhouse-in-a-Box is empowering farmers in India today. The steps we have already taken at Kheyti are now building to change farmers’ lives at scale.”
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