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Over the years smart thinking entrepreneurs in India have conceived, conceptualised and manufactured products that serve humanity by addressing the chronic problem that challenges their prosperity. However, it is rare to hear an innovative product is designed and manufactured, that not only solves problems but is also environment friendly and uses renewable energy. This is a rare amalgam and it needs to be commended. One such innovator is only 30 year old and a recipient of National Entrepreneurship Award 2018, Mr Sangappa Sankanagoud from Karnataka.
Sangappa grew up in an agricultural family in a small village called Shiraguppi in Karnataka. His father, a farmer, used to take him to their agricultural fields often, where he keenly observed the problems faced by the farmers to ensure a healthy crop. Either, there was a serious problem of protecting the crop from pests and diseases during the monsoon, or there were severe droughts in the district resulting in scarcity of cattle fodder. Both these problems drained the hard efforts put in by the farmer and also eroded his morale. These problems were faced by all the farmers in the region.
Sangappa was hopeful of a solution, when he enrolled himself for a degree course in Agricultural Engineering. After he completed his course, he set up a company ‘Solar Power Agriculture Engineering Enterprise’ in 2014 and started manufacturing agriculture products. His flagship products are Solar based Sprayer and Green Fodder based Hydroponic machine. Both these machines have been successful in tackling the pest and diseases problem and also the cattle fodder problem during severe drought.
The Sprayer available in the market till 2014 was heavy, slow and inflexible. Sangappa developed a three layered sprayer, with a sliding adjustable hind wheel to cater to width between farmed rows in the field. Its height was adjustable, and can spray the organic manures and repellents along with the chemical based farming inputs. It works using solar power, with the solar panel fixed in such a way that it gives shade to the user. When sunlight is not available it can be charged on the DC. The machine is light, easy to operate and inexpensive to maintain.
The Green Fodder Hydroponic machine produces fodder for livestock. It produces 70 kgs of green fodder hydroponically using just 10 litres of water to produce 22 kgs of fodder with 3 kgs of seeds. As a result, the farmers in Karnataka have accepted these innovative products with open arms.
All the products in Sangappa’s manufacturing unit are completely solar energy powered. So, it’s no wonder that he was one of the deserving winners of National Entrepreneurship Awards 2018.
Over the years, The Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) has identified many innovative entrepreneurs like Sangappa, who serve humanity by providing simple solutions to everyday challenges. This year, through the fourth edition of the National Entrepreneurship Awards, the Ministry will recognise the efforts of more such entrepreneurs on 9th November 2019. These Awards aim to make entrepreneurship aspirational and create job creators.