Improving DIY-ability of Small Scale Greenhouses

In 2021, Kheyti’s R&D Team decided to work on developing a new version of the “Greenhouse in a Box”, which is an affordable $500 “Greenhouse Lite” for bottom-of-the-pyramid farmers. The goals were to simplify installation and reduce the cost of the greenhouse.

With the world’s population at 7.9 billion in July 2021, our food scenario is changing fast, particularly with climate change making production all the more difficult for today’s farmers. Goal 2 of the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) seeks sustainable solutions to end hunger in all forms by 2030 and to achieve food security. Kheyti has taken up this challenge since 2015, developing a greenhouse in a box that provides year-round income for farmers in India.

By adopting a human-centred approach and conducting interviews with farmers, potential pain points during farmer’s installation in the current model were identified and expert installation, accounting for 20% of the greenhouse cost, were estimated. Collaborative design tools like Autodesk Fusion 360 allowed Autodesk consultants and partners (KETIV Technologies), E4C fellows, and Kheyti designers to work on one platform, brainstorming, suggesting, making and testing design iterations. The new ideas were identified during the brainstorming sessions in the collaboration. These new ideas were then practically tested in the field by the Kheyti team. The field tests helped to identify issues, iterate and improve the ideas for simplicity of installation and cost reduction.

The six-month collaboration resulted in a 10% cost reduction and 50% reduction in installation time. Achieving the set goal is not just good news to Kheyti but also to the farmers. Now, they will be able to produce more food, repay their loans faster and feed the growing population of the world helping to achieve the UN SDGs.

Figure 1: Multiple idea explored for DIY greenhouse installation by Ash Seth

Figure 2: Fusion 360 validation results for proposed trellising system

Figure 3: Sample idea board for arrowhead design modifications by Ash Seth


E4C 2021 PROGRAM MANAGEMENT TEAM: Mariela Machado, Senior Program Manager; Grace Burleson, Research Manager; Marilynn Holguín Clover, Program Coordinator; Jonathan Kemp, Program Associate 

ADVISORS AND COLLABORATORSAsh Seth, Senior Design Engineer, USA; Ayush Jain, Kheyti Design Fellow, India; Ayush Sharma, Kheyti Cofounder, India

This research was completed as part of the 2021 E4C Fellowship program. Learn more about the Fellows who worked on this research collaboration by connecting with them on LinkedIn: Obiora Odugu and Harsh Vyas.

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