Here's how produce travels through India right now.
CROPS ARE THEN TAKEN TO MANDIS
typically by middlemen, who take commissions with each transaction. Crops pass through four middlemen until they reach market- by then, the price has increased by 600% and farmers get only a quarter of the final retail price, far below what they deserve under fair pricing models.
AND 25% OF THEM ROT BEFORE RETAIL
because India faces a 90% supply deficit of cold storage facilities nationally. Collectively, this means that a third of all fruits and vegetables are wasted due to gaps in the cold chain, and as a result, India loses out on $5.8 billion USD in agricultural profit.
This needs to change.
Food is a lifeline in all senses. We believe that something we touch every single day needs to be something we think about. The market gap and inefficiency in cold storage is a problem, but also an opportunity: an opportunity for us to revolutionize the way we farm and transport our food today, one farm at a time.
mPower is an integrated cold chain logistics provider. We've developed a proprietary modular refrigerator that can keep produce cool for a day and gain only 1 degree Celsius of heat. We use this fridge to buy produce from farmers at market price and then, using a predictive analytics algorithm, determine the most profitable urban mandi to sell to, directly connecting farmers with consumer markets.
We are preparing a pilot for Bangalore-region farms, but are also looking to purchase from mango farmers in Andhra Pradesh or tamarind farmers in Chhattisgarh. Do you know any farmers who could use mPower? Let's talk!
We're an interdisciplinary group of students at Duke University, united by a common love of entrepreneurship, technology, and food. Our partners and mentors include the Hult Prize, the Duke Energy Initiative, the Kenan Institute of Ethics, and the Duke Innovation and Entrepreneurship Initiative.
Your donation could be the difference for one farm. We are currently accepting donations through our Indiegogo campaign to finance a pilot in India: this includes travel expenses within rural regions, funding to build our prototype at the Manipal Institute of Technology in India, marketing efforts in rural communities, and legal fees.