12% of the world lives in rural India. The majority of those rural people are farmers, with plots an average of 1 acre in area.
These farmers are price takers—they must sell their goods for whatever people can offer. As a result, in a good year many are struggling to get by.
Particularly during volatile weather like droughts and floods—which are happening more and more often as the earth warms—farmers are left destitute.
A Worthwhile Distance
27% of these farmers live in villages over 5 hours away from the closest small town.
In those villages, farming is even more prevalent. They're only access to good are fast moving consumer goods (FMCGs) where companies like Coca-Cola and Unilever.
As a result, these farmers have inadequate access to emerging technologies, including evaporative cooling, irrigation, and water sanitation.
Under-resourced farmers is a well-documented and understood problem, and many startups are working to address it.
From solar lamps that can replace toxic oil lamps to evaporative cooling units that can keep produce cold without electricity, startups around the world are focusing on rural markets.
As they create these products, they realize a crucial problem in their plan: accessing their rural customers in an efficient and cost effective manner.
WE ARE FARMERS
Worldwide, smallholder farmers are largely recognized as a key to global food security. Almost 85% of all farms globally are small holder farms, and they account for 75% of the production of food commodities globally. According to the International Fund for Rural Development, these farms are often starved of resources that would allow them to become the pillars of productivity that our globalized food systems so desperately need.
Veera focuses on providing capacity-building goods and services to those people that could never access them before. Starting with India, Veera is first distributing state of the art, portable cold storage units to rural farmers. A lack of cold storage in India causes over 40% of all produce to go to waste. This is enough food to feed 125 million people for an entire year. By providing small holder farmers with portable, affordable cold storage units that are powered by renewable energy, we can help them extend the shelf life of their produce by up to a month, and open up an avenue for them to obtain a wider variety of resources that allow for their farming practices to become more sophisticated.
By opening up the potential of rural India, and bringing 21st century technologies to these communities, Veera truly can enable unique sustainable development of one of the most underserved parts of our planet.