For farmers in Pakistan, tending to land is close to
worship. They spend their lives on the farm, generations after generations
working on the same land producing the same crop to provide for their families.
There are 9.3 million farming families in Pakistan whose livelihood depends on the fruits and vegetables they produce. The Pakistan Environmental Protection agency found that thirty percent of the fruits and vegetables produced in Pakistan are wasted in harvest due to lack of a proper cold chain infrastructure. This causes him significant loss of income.
Imagine, spending all your time and energy on a task and only reaping 70% of the benefits from it.
On the consumer’s end, prices for dehydrated fruits and vegetables are ever increasing due to import tariffs and exchange rate fluctuations. The locally available product can also be of low and sometimes dangerous quality. There is also huge potential in the international markets which cheap, locally produced dehydrated products can meet.
Our business model, aims to help farmers with a simple solution.
The main problem these farmers face is the loss of income, by buying a share of their produce at market competitive rates we will be able to provide them with much needed income. Another issue is the thousands of tons of fruits and vegetables that are wasted, using solar dehydration technology we plan to prolong their shelf life and enhance their salability. And finally the current sun drying methods used by these farmers are unhygienic making the fruit inedible, the process at our dehydration facilities will produce consistent high quality dehydrated product.
In its entirety, the process will consist of buying produce from farmers, pre-treating and dehydrating it at our facilities, getting it quality tested and packaged followed by distribution and sale. The Hohenheim solar dehydrators have global recognition and are being successfully used in fifty five countries. However, this technology has yet to be implemented in Pakistan. The dehydrator uses solar energy to dehydrate fruit foregoing the need for either capital intensive solar panels or any other form of electricity except for a small fan.
It consists of two parts, the thermal collector and the drying tunnel, covered by a plastic sheet.
The dehydration process is as follows:
Sorting, cutting and pretreating the produce and placing it in the drier
Cold air then moves into the drier and is heated by the suns energy
This creates a greenhouse effect and the hot air moves into the drying chamber where it removes the moisture in the produce thereby producing the final dehydrated product.
The dehydrator is amazing for several reasons:
1. It has close to zero running cost if you discount maintenance
2. It produces a hygienic and consistent final product
3. Can be locally manufactured, is durable and very easy to operate.
Our business model is only as strong as our partners and for this reason we have identified and consulted with our business partners. Pakistan Farmer’s Association will be our relationship partner helping us reach the farmers. Agility Logistics has widespread networks and will be transporting the produce to and from our facilities, SGS Pakistan will be our quality controllers. The Sindh Enterprise Development Fund will be our consultants and advisers in this endeavor and as our customers we have identified food industries such as National Foods (with whom we are in collaboration) as well as the Pakistan Army.
Our sales and promotion tactics include B2B Marketing, Partnerships with IMTs, Food and Agriculture Exhibitions as well as Online store.
We estimate that setting up with five dehydrators during our first year will cost us an initial investment of Rs. 500,000 to build the dehydrators after which we will be buying, processing and selling the dehydrated produce. We expect to have a Return on Investment of 37% with approximately Rs. 2.3 million in profits. In Unit Economic terms this is a profit of Rs. 115 per kg.
The team consists of myself, Ayesha, Sidra and Salman. All of us come from different backgrounds such as Finance, Supply Chain, Marketing and Engineering. We have also curated a number of contacts who have helped us shape our business model as advisors.
We plan to increase farmer income by 25%, using negligible electricity and aim to reduce post-harvest losses by 90% as well as reducing the cost of dehydrated produce by approximately 20% and providing new jobs in the area at each facility.
Our business model will target UNSD goals number 1, 8 and 12.
Our business model is still in the ideation phase and we need the capital to build our prototype and additional equipment to start testing and operations.
This venture is the only one of its kind in Pakistan. In order for it to be successful we need guidance from global professionals who can help us get our venture off the ground. We also require seed funding in order to build the first dehydrator and start operations. This is where the Pakistan Start Up Cup comes in for us. In addition to this we hope to become one of the top teams and win the prize money to initiate our startup.
Our most vital stakeholders are the farmers from whom we will be buying our produce. We plan and hope to build lasting relationships with them, train members of farming communities to work at our facilities and have an impact on twelve million lives by 2025, create 600 direct employment, provide approximately 6000 rupees of additional income to the farmers and reduce food wastage by 25,000 metric tonnes, as well as boost the SME sector.
If you have any questions