The lack of fodder and the consequent drop in milk yield is causing financial losses to several dairy farmers. Bengaluru-based Hydrogreens Agri Solutions Private Limited aims to solve the fodder crisis problem through'Kambala', its climate-controlled vertical fodder grow house.
Founded in 2019 by Vasanth Madhav Kamath andJeevan M, the startup helps farmers grow healthy fodder for their cattle even in high temperatures and dry areas. The founders established the startup with an initial investment of Rs 25 lakhs.
Working of Kambala:
The product can be compared to the structure of a large refrigerator, occupying 3 X 4 feet of ground space and standing 7 feet tall. Inside, the racks are installed for growing fodder - 7 racks for 7 days of the week. Each rack comprises four trays where approximately 700 Gms of high-protein seeds of maize are added one day a week. Alternately, the seeds of wheat or barley can also be used. Within the next few days, the rack becomes covered with fresh, green fodder ready to be dispensed to the cattle. The insides of the racks are connected with 14 micro-sprinklers that spray water occasionally according to the need, once the system is connected to a power source.
The Kambala is also enveloped with a black net cover from the outside, thereby protecting the growing fodder from excessive heat while allowing ample ventilation. This allows the system to be installed in the areas with high daytime temperatures like interior villages of Rajasthan.
In a day, 25 to 30 Kg of fodder is generated in a Kambala Machine, thereby creating enough fodder for at least 4 to 5 cows in a week.
Kambala requires just 50 litres of water for three days as compared to around 70-100 litres of water to grow 1 kg of fodder in traditional farming.
Normal version :₹30,000
Solar-powered version :₹45,000
Kambala generates an electricity bill of less than Rs. 70 in a year.
Community Fodder Stations :
Presently, Hydrogreens is engaged in setting up around 25 community fodder stations in Chitradurga district of Karnataka. These are small commercial units, in each of which a Kambala has been commissioned under the patronage of local agricultural non-profits. Dairy farmers and villagers with cattle can come up to the station every morning and buy the required amount of high-protein fodder for their cattle.