Guest post from Rustam Sengupta, CEO of Boond.
In a rural village of Unnao district of Uttar Pradesh, a project was launched to improve the rural dairy supply chain by Boond Engineering and Development ltd. As a poor, mostly rural district with high population density concentrated in agricultural areas with little infrastructure, Unnao confronts the same energy access problems faced by Uttar Pradesh as a whole. Currently, many of the villages in Unnao district have no electric infrastructure, while others have infrastructure but receive only 2-3 hours of power per day, or no power at all.
Energy access plays a critical role in each stage of the dairy supply chain, as milk must be kept cool in order to avoid spoilage. While there is abundant surplus milk which could be collected from many villages, farmers have historically lacked a cost-effective way to get the milk to market. The largest source of energy demand in the dairy supply chain is in large chilling centers where milk is refrigerated. India’s rural dairy supply chain faces a variety of obstacles arising from limited energy access, quality control problems and limited transportation infra structure. Boond identified solar power as the long term solution to overcome the obstacles in the rural dairy industry.
Boond enabled Purica foods to improve the scale of their operations and to establish milk collection centers in remote unelectrified areas by providing 225 W solar systems. Each system costs INR 35000 with the installation and servicing done by Boond. In rural milk collection centers, the solar unit powers four machines, an electronic weighing machine, an ultrasonic stirrer (mixing) machine, a small computer and a milk testing machine which tests for SNF content and improves the accuracy and speed of transactions while also ensuring consistently high milk quality.
“The solar solutions offered by Boond helped us to establish milk collection centers in more isolated unelictrified rural areas, which act as a catalyst for rural development, raising incomes and improving living standards for local farmers. We purchase milk directly from farmers, reducing transport and marketing costs. It is therefore possible for farmers to earn an annual average of INR 27 ($0.45 USD) per liter, roughly 8 rupees more than they would earn by selling to an intermediary. Most farmers sell around 3-5 liters of milk to our collection center, generating INR 90 to 150 income each day”, says Mr. Sachin Tandon, Director of Purica foods.