Project Agritecture

Tunisha Mehta, Ankur Podder

Status: Ongoing

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Innovation towards Second Green Revolution: A low-cost, scalable and resilient net-zero energy cold storage system for seasonal agriculture produce to galvanize Bihar’s latent potential in ensuring food security and small farm-holders’ economic inclusivity.

Millions of farmers live in extreme poverty to this day in a state that's known for its agriculture bounty. Bihar's agro-based economy drives its growth but fluctuations in agriculture output- due to protracted crises- put it at risk. Ensuring food security for the world's most populous country by 2050 makes farmers' economic inclusivity almost imperative. More than 40% of the produce gets wasted because of natural hazards and perish each year. Research suggests that the progressive growth rate of food production is higher than that of population growth. However, its distribution is inequitable because of spillage. 

Affordable, net-zero energy storage systems not only promise farmers a fair return on their produce but also warrant food security. It will not only help stakeholders identify the potential renewable energy holds for sustainable agriculture but also help bolster Bihar's economy by boosting its direct multiplier- agriculture sector. Thus, through community-based participatory research, the project aims to (i) identify cost barriers to design, build and deploy storage systems at scale, (ii) identify behavioural barriers to adoption of technology within the community, (iii) innovate to lower the system's cost over its life-cycle, investigating passive and active energy systems and (iv) standardize the design to leverage economies-at-scale and reaffirm its scalability. 

We propose to disseminate project learnings by curating and publishing accessible open-data sets. A prototype will be built in Mahdipur Village, Bihar by organizing a build workshop for the stakeholding community. The build process would be captured in a time and motion study, with cameras and sensors, to underscore its low-cost and scalability. The project would culminate with publishing reports on (i) techno-economic analysis of the innovation as a viable solution for food storage, (ii) cost-benefit analysis and reality metrics on production optimization at scale.