According to foreign media techcrunch, severe drought has dried up rivers and reservoirs in parts of India. It is estimated that more than 500 million people in the world’s second most populous country will run out of drinking water by 2030. This is evident in farms that consume most of the total water supply. Farmers in India have been heavily dependent on rain for their efforts. People with the ability to do so have turned to crops such as cowpeas and corn, which basically use a fraction of water for all but rice. But most people don’t have it. < / P > < p > a Hyderabad based start-up that will compete this week at techcrunch disrupt startup battlefield believes it has found a way to address both challenges. In many of its centers in Hyderabad and Bangalore, urban kisaan is growing crops. Vertical agriculture, which has gained good momentum in some Western markets, is still a very new concept in India. < / P > < p > this mode brings a series of benefits. Vihari kanukollu, co-founder and CEO of urban kisaan, told techcrunch in an interview that the start-up uses 95% less water than traditional farms, using no soil or harmful chemicals to grow crops. < / P > < p > “we have established a hydroponic system to keep water flowing and recycling.” He said. Urban kisaan says its crop production has increased by 30% despite using less water. “Our crops can grow at least 30-40 feet. And it has an infinite loop there. ” Unlike other vertical farming models that only grow lettuce and basil, urban kisaan has designed techniques to grow more than 50 vegetables, says kanukollu, 26, who has developed techniques for growing more than 50 vegetables. < / P > < p > for urban kisaan, the bigger challenge is to persuade businesses such as chain restaurants to buy from them. “Although we provide healthier vegetables, companies are more willing to choose traditional crops and save a few dollars.” He said. < / P > < p > so in response to this situation, urbankisaan is sold directly to consumers. Visitors can check in at the urban kisaan centre in Hyderabad and Bangalore to buy a range of vegetables. < / P > < p > the start-up, backed by Y combinator and recently by South Indian actress Samantha akkineni, also sells a $200 kit that anyone can buy and grow at home. < / P > < p > kanukollu, with a business background, began exploring the idea of urban kisaan in 2018, frustrated that she couldn’t buy fresh pesticide free vegetables for her mother. Fortunately, he found Sairam palicherla, a scientist who had spent more than 20 years studying agriculture. Both men spent their first year studying and contacting farmers. Today, urban kisaan has more than 30 farms. Kanukollu said the farms were profitable in the first month. “At present, our sales are up 110% per month, and our average bill value has increased tenfold in the past six months.” < / P > < p > the start-up is still trying to reach a point in the next three months, generating $150000 a month. The start-up has further refined its technology stack in the past few quarters. Kanukollu says they have reduced the power consumption of LED lights by 50% and the manufacturing cost per tube by 60%. < p > < p > kanukollu said the start-up is working with five farmers to find a way to bring it to every farmer. < / P > < p > it also develops centralized intelligence based on convolutional neural network to realize real-time detection, find more harvestable agricultural products, and detect the shortcomings of farms. < / P > < p > urbankisaan has now raised about $1.5 million and plans to expand it to more large cities in India in the next few quarters. Skip to content