Chennai, November 30, 2023 – Covestro (India), a pioneering high-tech polymer materials manufacturer, has initiated a significant venture aimed at combatting postharvest losses prevalent in India’s horticulture and fisheries sector. The company unveiled the groundbreaking Covestro Food Security Platform on November 22nd, 2023, during a hybrid event held at the ITC Grand Chola in Chennai. This digital platform marks a collective effort bringing together government authorities, industry leaders, and farmers with the mission of empowering farmers through innovative postharvest technologies, thereby minimizing losses and augmenting the value of agricultural produce.
Over the last decade, Covestro (India) has dedicated its efforts to a social transformation project under Inclusive Business, with the Food Security vertical being its inaugural pillar. Through this initiative, the team has spearheaded the installation of advanced solutions such as greenhouses for drying and cultivation, solar conduction dryers, solar cold stores, and the promotion of portable cold boxes. The Covestro Food Security Platform serves as a comprehensive resource hub, providing farmers with access to tools and knowledge to enhance postharvest processes, ultimately prolonging the shelf life of their produce.
The platform facilitates farmer connectivity, enabling the exchange of insights on available technologies and facilitating supply-demand interactions. Additionally, it showcases produce that has undergone advanced post-harvest management techniques like solar drying and temperature-controlled preservation.
India’s horticulture and fisheries sectors collectively encounter an average postharvest loss of 15- 20%, leading to increased CO2 emissions and missed opportunities for value addition. Covestro responds to this challenge by introducing cutting-edge technologies and establishing a virtual platform to encourage widespread adoption. The integration of digitalization and modern technologies is pivotal in ensuring farmers receive equitable returns for their efforts, and the Covestro Food Security Platform stands as a significant stride towards achieving this at scale.
Speaking from his office, Shri. K Lakshminarayanan, Hon’ble Minister for Public Works, Fisheries, and Fisherman Welfare, Pondicherry, commended Covestro for its solutions, acknowledging their positive impact on both farmers and the fishing community. Shri. M. R. K. Panneerselvam, Hon’ble Minister of Agriculture, Tamil Nadu, through a message expressed support for the platform’s concept, recognizing its potential to address wastage issues and enhance farmers’ income.
Mr. Anand Srinivasan, Managing Director, Covestro (India) Private Limited, emphasized the Food Security Platform as a testament to the global mission of Covestro: To make the world a brighter place. “We aim to foster innovation and growth through products, technologies, and partnerships that benefit society while minimizing environmental impact. I am confident the Food Security Platform will significantly add value to the hard work of our farmers.”
The launch event witnessed active participation from key stakeholders. Shri Chiranjiv Choudhary, Secretary to the Government of Andhra Pradesh Food Processing Industries and Commerce Department, emphasized the importance of collaboration within the agriculture value chain. Ms. Alina Gumpert, Director of the German Agribusiness Alliance (GAA), highlighted the enduring collaboration between GAA and Covestro, emphasizing the significance of postharvest loss mitigation for transforming the agriculture system.
Representatives from the farming community and market linkage fraternity shared their experiences and insights. Mr. Ajeethan, Managing Director of Thottiyam Banana Producer Company, Trichy, illustrated the benefits of utilizing the greenhouse drier, showcasing how it has contributed to the development of his brand, Madhur Fruits. Mr. Prasanna, Co-founder & Director of Finance, at MangoPoint, a provider of value-added mangoes, stressed the importance of accessing the right market and the potential for increased earnings through dehydrated products.
The event culminated in an interactive session between the audience and the Covestro team, featuring a live demonstration of the app’s features and potential benefits to farmers.
Covestro, committed to a fully circular vision and investments in Inclusive Business, has already implemented 4000+ solutions across India, positively impacting over 5 lakh people. Mr. B. Veeralakshmanan, Head – of Inclusive Business, Indian Sub-Continent & ASEAN, affirmed, “The Covestro Food Security Platform is not solely a technological innovation; it symbolizes our commitment to building a resilient, sustainable, and inclusive future for India’s agricultural community.”