Maharashtra Startup Revolutionizes Onion Farming with Mechanization

By Sunil Sonkar
3 Min Read
Maharashtra Startup Revolutionizes Onion Farming with Mechanization

In a tale of innovation born out of adversity, Saurabh Kadam, 32, and Prasad Deshmukh, 41, of Maharashtra have pioneered a transformative approach to onion farming through mechanization. The reason they started their business was a big drought between 2013 and 2015. Because of this, they had to change what they were doing before and start growing onions instead.

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Kadam, armed with an MTech in Civil Engineering from the Rajarambapu Institute of Technology in Sangli, made the bold decision to shut down his construction business. Instead, he teamed up with Deshmukh to develop and sell better machines for growing onions. Their smart idea not only got them praise but also a big help from the government’s RAFAR grant.

The duo’s focus is clear – to usher in a new era of complete mechanization in onion farming. Traditionally engaged in cane cultivation on their 30-acre expanse in Ahmednagar district’s Rahuri tehsil, Kadam’s family found themselves compelled to seek alternatives during the water-scarce years.

“Onion became the logical choice due to its short growth cycle of three to four months,” Kadam explained. But growing onions needed a lot of hard work and that was a big problem. As members of the Shetkariraja Male Self-Help Group (SHG), the two observed firsthand the issues faced by onion farmers in the region.

Labor scarcity and inefficient planting practices prompted Kadam to take matters into his own hands. Recognizing the drawbacks of the seeds throwing method on the soil surface, he engineered a mechanical seeder that not only reduced seed requirements but also streamlined the planting process. The seeder marked a significant leap forward.

Since the creation of their first machine in 2015, the two have successfully sold about 300 units annually. In 2019, they found that their idea could help many people and hence started a company to make it official. The year 2020 brought further recognition as their firm became a beneficiary of the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY)’s RAFAR and secured a substantial investment of Rs 15 lakh as well as incubation facilities at the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) in Kashipur, Uttarakhand.

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