The innovation which Letcetra brings to the table is that of Hydroponics. This is the first of its kind in India and it started on a very small scale in Goa. These goals help fulfill SDG 3: Good Health and Well-Being and SDG 15: Life on Land.
Sunil K S
Goa Institute of Management
What exactly is Hydroponics? Hydroponics is a subset of hydroculture and is used to grow plants using mineral nutrient solutions, in water, without soil. The advantages of hydroponically grown plants are:
a. Pesticide-free growth, no soil needed, 85% less water consumption as it is recycled through the system, lower land requirement, lower nutrition requirements, pollution-free with the fully controlled system, reducing the risk of the plant dying,
b. Healthy stable plants that produce higher yields, ease of harvesting, zero pesticide produce, shorter growth cycle, all-year-round growth.
The reason Mr. Naik wanted to get into this field was the scope for improving the quality of the food which consumers around the country consume. He believed that increased use of pesticides has extreme effects on the body of humans in general. He, therefore, left his start-up and started Letcetra Agritech in 2016. His goals were to fulfill SDG 2 and 3 initially and with time he expects to fulfill more SDGs.
The founders detected that the quality in the café nourishment (and even home-prepared nourishment besides) was gradually debasing. There was never again a freshness in the vegetables and a general absence of flavor. After examining, they understood that the issue lay not in the kitchen or middle people yet at the source: the farms. The condition of cultivating was wrecked. Composts were abused and the utilization of pesticides and added substances was wild in the business. This left the vegetables tasteless and the dirt inert.
That is the point at which his long periods of involvement in IT kicked in and motivated him to concoct an answer wherein he could unite Agriculture and Technology. He particularly needed to concentrate on building up a technique for cultivating that would require a littler territory than customary ranches, decrease the utilization of water, utilize an innovation that would nullify the requirement for pesticides, and would be financially savvy for both the maker and shopper at last. That is the point at which he risked upon Hydroponics during his investigation into maintainable strategies for cultivating. A technique that gave answers for each one of his inquiries.
Letcetra was the first company to launch a hydroponic farm in India. Letcetra started with a small farm of 150 square meters and over the years they have grown to a 3000 square meter farm. In just two years they have been able to create a huge awareness about Urban farming. The main reason for the increased demand for Hydroponics is the fact that it can be used in areas as small as a balcony. Since there is no requirement of soil, people are willing to take it up as a hobby. Letcetra sells exotic vegetables such as lettuce, cherry tomatoes, and bell peppers among many others. Their main goal is to set up community farming in residential communities in Goa. Letcetra is also planning to collaborate with the government to make Goa self-sustaining. In order to increase its scope outside Goa, it is planning to set up an online platform.
The benefits that this innovation generates for the company are enormous. Not only does it help them sell quality products at a higher than the market price, but they are also able to target the growing health-conscious population. The younger generation according to Mr. Harish is extremely health-conscious and knows what is good for them and what is not. People are more aware of what is going into their foods and how they are being prepared. This makes it the best time for Letcetra to grow as a company. The idea of setting up small production farms in your own house appeals to a huge population currently. The short-term goals of Letcetra are to improve the quality of food and to reduce the land used for producing crops. This is done so that the use of natural resources is reduced and the quality of life on land improves. The long-term effects are that this technology has generated job opportunities for farmers, addressing the problem of zero poverty, as farmers earn a good amount of money spent from specialists and can use it to give their families better quality food.
The story of Letcetra is one of inspiration, change and a better tomorrow not only for society but also for the environment. They are helping society move one step closer to fulfilling SDG 2 and SDG 3. Because of hydroponics both the final customer and the environment will be exposed to a lesser amount of pesticides and chemicals. The quality of crops grown through the process of hydroponics is much more beneficial than the conventional methods because it's completely chemical-free. Another benefit of hydroponics is the nutrition-rich water in which the crops grow can be reused. This helps in reducing the amount of water lost in growing plants. The plants which grow through hydroponics use only 10% of the water which is used by the plants grown in the field. Hydroponics does not depend on the season, unlike normal crop production. Hence it will reduce the shortage of natural food and further reduce the gap towards achieving zero hunger.
Harish Usgaonker, CTO
Keep this story going! Share below!
Mapusa, Goa, IN
Business Website: http://www.letcetraagritech.com/index
Year Founded: 2016
Number of Employees: 51 to 200
Letcetra Agritech began in late 2016, when engineers with diverse backgrounds, united by their love for healthy growing and food, invested time, effort and money in understanding the nuances of hydroponics, and concentrated on getting the best available knowledge, to ensure food production remains easy and accessible for everyone.