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Ecozen Solar solutions reflect a holistic commitment to sustainability

Ecozen, an innovative Indian company founded in 2010 by three IIT Kharagpur alumni, is transforming the way perishable goods are handled and stored in India. Their mission is to tackle the critical challenges faced by the agricultural and food processing sectors in the country, particularly the substantial post-harvest losses resulting from inadequate storage and inefficient energy usage. Shrirang Deshpande, Head of National Sales at Ecozen, shared insights into the company’s initiatives in an exclusive interview with The Interview World.

Q: Can you describe Ecozen’s flagship initiative, which plays a pivotal role in strengthening India’s rural economy?

A: One of Ecozen’s standout initiatives is the establishment of India’s inaugural solar cold storage chain. This groundbreaking concept combines renewable energy technology with cold storage facilities to prolong the shelf life of perishable agricultural products. Ecozen employs solar panels to capture clean and sustainable energy from the sun, which is then utilized to power cold storage units. Solar-powered cold storage facilities are especially critical in India, where frequent power interruptions can lead to the spoilage of perishable goods. By relying on solar energy, Ecozen ensures a continuous and dependable power supply, particularly in rural areas.

Q: Why is a robust cold storage network essential for India?

A: India faces a considerable challenge in mitigating post-harvest losses, estimated to be as high as 30-40% of the country’s agricultural produce. These losses occur due to insufficient storage and transportation facilities, as well as suboptimal handling practices. Cold storage plays a vital role in addressing these challenges by preserving perishable goods for extended periods. The development of a robust cold storage network enhances the efficiency of the agricultural supply chain. Farmers can store their produce when prices are low and release it when prices rise, leading to increased income and market price stability.

Q: What impact has Ecozen achieved thus far?

A: Ecozen’s efforts have had a significant social impact by assisting over 70,000 farmers. This support includes providing access to technology, training, and resources to improve farming practices, increase yields, and enhance the livelihoods of these farmers. Ecozen’s approach reflects a holistic commitment to sustainability. The company not only addresses environmental concerns such as clean energy generation and carbon emissions reduction but also actively contributes to social and economic development by supporting farmers and reducing food wastage. These endeavors demonstrate the positive impact businesses can have on both people and the planet when they prioritize sustainability and responsible practices.

Q: What growth prospects do you foresee in the solar cold storage business over the next five years?

A: The growth of the solar cold storage business is contingent on various factors, including government policies and incentives. Continued government support through subsidies, tax incentives, and favorable regulations for renewable energy and cold storage projects could stimulate further growth. Technological advancements, such as improvements in solar technology, energy storage solutions, and the integration of IoT for efficient monitoring and control of cold storage units, can enhance the accessibility and cost-effectiveness of solar cold storage. These factors, among others, have the potential to drive significant expansion in the solar cold storage industry over the next five years.

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