India: From farm to fork, Nutrifresh takes hydroponically-grown produce to customers' doorstep

Is organic produce really ‘organic’? While India leads Asia in growing organic food across 23 lakh hectares of land, the word ‘organic’ is not protected in the country, leading to widespread and sometimes unverified use.

The doubt germinated in the minds of Sanket Mehta and Ganesh Nikam. The duo had known each other since 2012-13 and built a strong rapport when Ganesh met Sanket, who was working as a credit manager at the Central Bank of India in Pune, for a few agri-financing-related proposals.

They came across the soilless cultivation method of hydroponic farming. Hydroponics, which is a Latin word meaning “working water,” grows produce by exposing their roots directly to a nutrient-rich water solution. This technique allows the plant to absorb all the required nutrients directly from the water. 

Nutrifresh’s hydroponic farms use a controlled environment with the help of poly houses and insect nets. The air is supplied in controlled measures, water is RO-purified, and nutrients are water-soluble.

The entire production is controlled—right from the procurement of high-quality seeds from the US and Israel, nursery, germination, harvesting, packaging, and delivery of the produce to the end-user. The startup claims that the entire supply chain from—farm to fork—takes less than 24 hours and has minimal or no human involvement.

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