Sakshi is a teenager, and she’s building a better world, starting in her own community. Sakshi recently launched a startup to reduce food waste and raise income for farmers in Karnataka, India. The Farm Theory creates an innovative, sustainable resource chain for farmers, reduces food waste, and connects people more closely to the food they eat and the people who grow it.

Sakshi and her team established collection centers in the farming village of Karnataka that allow The Farm Theory to purchase farmers’ entire crops, including produce that would otherwise be categorized as ugly or waste produce – netting the farmers a larger profit than they would earn in a traditional market. The Farm Theory also employs local women and young people to grade vegetables and then transport the categorized produce to warehouses in Bangalore. Once in Bangalore, the produce is brought to three Farm Theory storefronts or sold to local restaurants, where customers and cooks are happy to accept less than perfectly beautiful food items.

Why Global Food Waste Matters

Global food waste is an enormous problem. Globally, we throw away a third of the food we grow, and that food waste generates 3.3 billion tons of carbon dioxide annually – a significant contributing factor of climate change. Project Drawdown lists reducing food waste as the third most helpful action (out of 50) we can collectively take to mitigate climate change.

Sakshi and The Farm Theory team are making an enormous effort to help. Sakshi explains that the organization is “supplying 1000 kgs of fruits and vegetables every day directly from farms to restaurants and the Indian Military Canteens” and that they are working to address the unavoidable problem of waste that cannot be avoided with organic materials. “We are partnering with NGOs in Bangalore who are converting organic waste into natural fertilizers to help the farmers shift towards organic farming and reduce their dependence on chemical fertilizers.”

Their model reduces food waste, supports rural farmers, and employs local members of the community in a powerful, sustainable business that has the additional benefit of tackling a piece of the large, complicated puzzle of climate change. Together Sakshi, her team, and the communities she works with are building a less wasteful, more equitable future.

Beyond her work with The Farm Theory, Sakshi is also a Student Ambassador, working closely with teams of Technovation Girls and helping them bring their own innovative solutions to global problems to life. Do you have your own ideas for a sustainable business, or an idea for an app that would help strengthen your community? Bring it to life in 2020 – registration for Technovation Girls is still open – learn more and sign up today to start brainstorming and building a better world.