An eco-friendly, cost-effective solution developed by Narayan Lal Gurjar, a 20-year-old student from Rajasthan. The invention helps farmers to beat water scarcity in the draught prone region. (Image source: The Better India).
Narayan Lal Gurjar, hailing from a small village in Rajsamand district of Rajasthan, has seen farmers grapple with water scarcity all his life. The crisis escalated to such an extent that there was a decline in crop production, and 30 percent of the crops wilted, particularly in 2013 and 2015.
He wanted to do something about this, and ensure crops received a regular supply of water, despite the insufficient rainfall in the desert region. Therefore, in 2014, he started Eco-Friendly Water Retention Polymer with an aim to solve the water scarcity crisis for farmers.
What is Eco-friendly EFP?
The idea is to make soil water-retentive through polymers. The innovator Narayan used bio-degradable materials and created an EFP. EFP comes in powder form and hence, is easy for the farmers to spread through their fields.
When mixed with soil, it starts absorbing water when it rains and retains it till the water has been completely consumed. Since the EFP is close to the roots of the plants, they absorb water from it as required.
Image source: Your Story It is completely made from bio-waste which includes some fruit peels discarded by juice-producing small industries. The product costs 80% less than the chemical polymers.
Super Absorbent Polymer (SAP) is a synthetic macromolecular water-absorbing material that can hold “large amounts of a liquid relative to their mass.” If put in deionized and distilled water, it can retain a liquid between 300-1200 times its weight, but when immersed in 0.9 percent saline solution, its absorbing capacity falls to almost half its weight.
Often used in diapers and sanitary pads, the SAP also found application in those soils which have a low water-retentive capacity.
With sustainable, eco-friendly and cost-effective solutions like the EFP, Narayan is giving new hope to the future of farmers. The brilliant product solves 3 purposes – utilizing wet waste to make eco-friendly water-retaining polymers that also act as fertilizers to crops.
It is in innovations like these that farmers can find relief. While harsh chemicals are leaching the land of its natural fertility, irregular rainfall and depleting groundwater levels is compounding the crisis.
The current solutions for the problem of water retention use chemicals. Thus, they harm the crops, the soil and its moisture capacity, and soil fertilizer capacity. The existing solutions create soil & air pollution and take much too long to degrade
If it is made out of only bio-waste without any plastics or resins it’s a Wow product. We sincerely need to develop an impact innovation culture allowing young minds to develop on their ideas.
Best for Farmers who suffers from water scarcity and yield-related problems. India needs more people like you. The logical next step is to find an Indian investor and start production and marketing.
According to Venture Intelligence, there have been 41 deals worth $96 million from 2014 to date in the agri-tech space. In 2014, barely $6 million was invested in this space; in 2017, that number went up to $34 million.
These startups bring innovative ways to help farmers in areas like storage, logistics and distribution, quality seed procurement, increased production etc. Great that Narayan Lal Gurjar used bio-degradable materials which help our environment and eco-system! The world is full of good people and good things, it’s just a matter of conviction and creativity to support people at large.