In India, farmers often sell their produce for a cheaper price in the evening, as it otherwise rots. S4S Technologies has developed a business model that dehydrates and processes these excess vegetables and fruits, and builds a supply chain to get them to the market.
The company developed a solar conduction dryer that increases the shelf life of vegetables to six months. S4S developed the machine specifically for, and with input from, female farmers. The company identifies women entrepreneurs in villages who become aggregators that work with 15-20 micro-entrepreneurs each. Based on market demand, these micro-entrepreneurs dry items like ginger, garlic, carrot and beetroot. Once dried, aggregators supply the products back to S4S, which then sells the produce to institutional clients. The dryers are well-suited for farmers working under erratic electricity conditions, and the rent-based model makes the product affordable and helps generate additional income for farmers. S4S works directly with more than 1000 farmer and farmer cooperatives under its solar powered dehydration initiative supported by USAID, UKAID, Gates Foundation, and the Government of India.