How Tan90 increases farmers’ return on investment with affordable cold storage solutions

Tan90a brainchild of three PhD students from the Indian Institute of Technology Madras Soumalya Mukherjee, Rajani Kant Rai and Shiv Sharma, enables farmers to increase their profits with affordable cold storage solutions that simplify the transport of temperature-controlled produce. While large retailers have access to centralized cold storage as well as transportation, smaller retailers and farmers have to overcome challenges such as lack of adequate infrastructure and power outages.

Increase farmers’ income

Tan90 portable cold storage solutions – Box90, P90, Bag90 and Evap90 – are used by farmers, fishermen and flower sellers. Since flowers are high value and highly perishable commodities, the harvesting of the flowers is done three times a day to maintain their freshness. It also increases the cost of labor. With cold stores, farmers now harvest once a day and store their produce in cold rooms, reducing daily operational costs by a third.

Bag 90, Box 90, EVAP90

Tan90 consortium partners Greenbliss Agro and DbyT Dynamics strive to provide end-to-end cold storage solutions to marginal farmers. Farmers see a return on their investment within six months when roses are harvested and within three months when jasmine is harvested.

The pandemic-induced lockdown has led to a sudden surge in demand for fresh greens on consumers’ doorsteps. DbyT Dynamics also helped meet the urgent need by deploying electric two-wheelers. This not only increased awareness of the scheme among closed companies in Hyderabad but also helped farmers realize the prices during the early days of the lockdown.

“Through the Krishi Mangal program, we were able to reach around 5,000 farmers, increase their income by more than 16%, create 81 jobs and work with 21 OPAs. We have received support even in terms of marketing efforts and this has enabled us to reach more customers, mainly for the agritech sector,” shares Soumalya.

The focus was not only on building infrastructure, but also on providing support with market linkages. Electric vehicles further reinforce the green approach of the Krishi Mangal program. Particular attention was paid to creating a low-carbon cold storage infrastructure.

The idea was to perpetuate the ecosystem, farmers and OPAs (Agricultural Producers’ Organizations) being not only the beneficiaries, but also the partners of the program. The FPOs covered 40 percent of the cold storage infrastructure costs that were incurred by the farmer who stored his produce on a rental basis.

Nagarajua farmer associated with Peddavoora Farmer Producer Company, grows roses, very delicate flowers. He tells how the cold storage infrastructure as well as the mobility solutions offered by Tan90 have helped him avoid waste.

“If not stored properly, the rose petals fall off from the bud. To avoid waste, I used to wrap the flowers with a damp cloth before, and I always faced waste due to petal fall. Through the Krishi Mangal program, I discovered the Tan90 cooler bags. Since the cooling pads were kept in designated pockets, they were not in direct contact with the flowers. I had used to wrap them in papers and store them overnight in bags. Thanks to the controlled temperature, I was also able to sell my harvest the next day,” he adds.

Impact: Cost effective, sustainable and sustainable

Tan90 cold stores have been deployed in about 12 Indian states with customer interests ranging from green organic produce, dairy, meat, fish to frozen food. These affordable storages eliminate the need for ice in fisheries, increasing volume optimization by 40% and reducing operational costs by 25%.

This creates opportunities that enable the transport of temperature-sensitive perishables in a part-truck load configuration, or by two-wheelers that reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50%, compared to refrigerated trucks.

With Bag90, users can convert their normal vegetable crates into a portable cooler in no time. And these bags are designed in a way that women farmers can also use them, thus including women in the crucial supply chain. Steps have been taken to empower women farmers in Tamil Nadu for last mile distribution of flowers and fish. The replacement of diesel-powered refrigerated vehicles and stationary cold stores will lead to a reduction in CO2 emissions. In addition, 40 liters of diesel are saved every day thanks to the intervention of Krishi Mangal and Tan90.

The Indian cold chain logistics market is expected to grow at a CAGR of over 14% during the forecast period 2020-25.

Tan90 is one of the few companies that provide inorganic PCM in the positive temperature ranges, at +10, +15 and +24 degrees centigrade. Each of their PCM panels can be used for 1,500 times, or around 3.5 to 4 years for a single customer, increasing their return on investment over a period of time.

“Since we are involved in the research, development and manufacturing of phase change materials (PCM), we have a strong R&D team in place. We have the ability to provide temperature control from +30 to -24 degrees centigrade. This gives our users the flexibility to have a targeted approach to temperature control while transporting their perishables through any logistics system,” actions Rajani Kant RaiCo-founder, Tan90.

Tan90 seeks to provide energy-efficient and cost-effective thermal management solutions to enterprises and aims to be a leader in South Asia. The organization aspires to reduce the carbon footprint wherever thermal management is involved through its innovations.

“Our goal is to work on real problems. With our technology, we want to disrupt the energy storage space by enabling efficient thermal management of batteries,” shares Shiv SharmaCo-founder, Tan90.

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