2022 Earthshot Prize Winner: Kheyti
Of the world’s 570 million farms, over 80 percent cover less than two hectares, the size of three football pitches. Together, these small-hold farms produce a third of our food, but those who farm them are amongst the poorest people on the planet and the most affected by climate change.
India is home to 100 million small-hold farmers and the nation is one of the most climate-affected in the world. This year it recorded its earliest and one of its fiercest heatwaves on record, slashing harvests when the world was already beset by food shortages.
Kheyti, an Indian startup, has developed a simple solution that is already having a considerable impact. Its Greenhouse-in-a-Box is designed for small-hold farmers and the crops they grow, offering shelter from unpredictable elements and destructive pests. Kheyti also trains and supports farmers to ensure their greenhouse is as effective as possible.
The results are dramatic. Plants in the greenhouse require 98 percent less water than those outdoors and yields are seven-times higher. Ninety percent cheaper than a standard greenhouse, they are more than doubling farmers’ incomes, helping them invest more in their farms and their children’s education. Using less water and fewer pesticides, they are protecting the planet too.
Today, 1,000 farms have a Kheyti greenhouse, but this is just the start. By 2027, Kheyti wants 50,000 farmers to have a Greenhouse-in-a-Box.