Due to limited power availability in rural villages, the dairy supply chain in India relies heavily on diesel-fueled generators to keep milk cool near the point of production. Diesel fuel is expensive, inefficient, unreliable, and polluting. Farmers in rural areas struggle to supply their surplus milk in an efficient and sustainable manner to formal markets, resulting in a loss of income and opportunity.
Promethean’s innovation, micro milk chillers as a service, combines (1) thermal storage-based milk chilling technology for areas with limited electricity with (2) village-level refrigeration hubs. Through the thermal energy storage technology, Promethean enables access to village-level refrigeration and cold storage in weak-grid and off-grid settings for small-scale dairy farmers in remote parts of India. These village-level hubs are equipped with small-capacity micro milk chillers, digital milk testing equipment, and direct linkages to dairy processors/buyers to ensure transparency and data-driven decision-making. By including digital milk analyzer equipment at each hub, the milk of every farmer is tested, weighed, and segregated into separate cans and farmers are paid directly into their bank accounts at a transparent rate. As a result, Promethean can connect these farmers in remote villages to the organized sector in a sustainable manner and improve the livelihoods and resilience of millions of marginalized dairy farmers, the majority of whom are women.
The company uses a pay-as-you-go financing option to remove upfront costs for farmers and the thermal-storage refrigerated trucks replace the use of diesel for cooling.
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