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With an increase in urbanization and population, there is a tremendous increase in the demand for food. To meet this ever-increasing demand we have started compromising on the quality of food by using harmful chemicals, pesticides, and preservatives to ensure quantity rather than quality. Crofters Technology is here to solve this problem and provide healthier food you and your family

THE IDEA

Chennai based startup Crofter is building a hi-tech indoor farming ecosystem for passionate gardeners living in crowded apartments without a backyard space or a terrace of their own. They have built intelligent, self-cleaning, aquaponics systems that help people grow completely organic food in the comfort of their homes.

It combines nature and technology to build intelligent systems with a mobile app and sensor units which help control and monitor all ecosystem parameters remotely. And all this comes with zero-maintenance.

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Founded in October 2016, the startup is building — Part Garden, Part Fish Tank — equipped with a self-cleaning 20 gallon aquarium and a 330 square inch main grow-bed, our ecosystem fits nicely into your living room. The Crofters ecosystem is a smart, self-cleansing, indoor aquaponics garden. Aquaponics, is a system of aquaculture in which the waste produced by farmed fish or other aquatic creatures supplies the nutrients for plants grown hydroponically, which in turn purify the water.

It is a self-sustaining ecosystem, as we have made those periodic water changes for the aquarium part of history. No more emptying the tank, and sloppy migration of the fishes, in and out of the tank. Also, the ecosystem, by exchanging data with our servers, will tell you when it’s time to feed the fish, harvest the plants, or make other adjustments. The app also lets you control the lights, fans, and pumps remotely.

It also has an intelligent Wi-Fi enabled app-and-sensor unit helps you monitor all ecosystem parameters – light intensity, temperature, humidity and water levels. The LEDs inside the Ecosystem are designed to mimic the sun so as to stimulate photosynthesis in plants. It can be controlled for the time of the day and the stage of their growth cycle to ensure optimum plant growth. The bright purple light, add to the visual appeal, by jazzing up the system. Users can use the system to grow vegetables, herbs or small fruits.

The product, however, is currently in their beta testing phase and already have 15 early adopters. The startup is about to launch India’s first completely automated cloud-connected indoor kitchen farm which will grow plants 2 times faster with 80% less water consumption.

MEET THE MAKERS

Crofters is a product of two Engineers Ashish Khan and Deepak Srinivasan from NIT Trichy working diligently to bring their idea to the world.

Deepak completed his Chemical Engineering from NIT Trichy after which he was working as a Product Analyst at Temenos India. After working for close to a year in an NGO in Mumbai, he currently handles the operations and management at Crofters.

Ashish completed his Mechanical Engineering from NIT Trichy after which he was working as a Design Engineer at Severn Glocon India. After working as, a supply chain head in an e-commerce startup, he currently handles the Product development at Crofters.

COMPETITION

Crofters faces the competition of three fronts. In the large Scale Hi-Tech farming there are a number of small players such as Future Farms, Triton Food works and few others. But none of them hold any major market share.
In the consumer market, they have competition from traditional gardening companies, Aquarium dealers and semi-automatic gardening companies such as AltiFarms and Greenopia, etc.

On the International front, they have companies such as Click and Grow, Urban Nature which is expensive and have semi-automatic gardening.

FUTURE PLAN OF ACTION

In their agenda next, they plan to Setup Experience Centres for experiencing the Crofters Ecosystem in Bangalore and Chennai.

And apart from that they also wish to expand the early adopter program to the northern cities of the nation.

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