India: Startups That Want You to Grow Your Own Food
“We have an estimated 16,000 square kilometres of unused rooftop space in India. If we can turn 10 percent into farms, there’s a big opportunity.”
By Pranay Parab
10 April 2017
he biggest challenge for terrace and balcony gardens is seepage. Over time, water stagnation tends to weaken building structures and by the time this visible through signs such as dripping ceilings, the damage is already done. Khetify says its “khet” (farm) boxes use drip irrigation to avoid this problem. Similarly, the other startups also say they take precautions to ensure that water doesn’t stagnate on roofs or balconies.
Maintenance is another problem that keeps people from getting into growing food. Khetify solves this problem by bundling a maintenance service for a year. “We have a WhatsApp group for customers. If there’s any problem with the plants, they can send us a picture and we can diagnose 85 to 90 percent of the problems just by looking at the picture,” Khare says, adding that monthly visits to check people’s plants are also included in the service.