The government wants students to help store the onion, soliciting applications from storage tech startups

The Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution (MoCAFPD) has invited applications for a grand challenge seeking ideas on developing technologies for primary processing, storage and valorization of onions. The challenge is open to research students, scientists, private organizations and start-ups across the country. Interested candidates can send their application online through on or before 15th October.

The challenge, which will run from July 20 to October 20, explores ideas and solutions across four broad verticals. This includes improvement in storage design for traditional onion storage facilities in the country, pre-harvest technologies, technologies and processes for basic onion processing and harvesting and dehydration, valorization and onion processing. are

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This grand challenge will be divided into three phases. In the first stage, known as the ‘Ideation to POC’ stage, participating teams will be asked to pitch their idea to a jury. A total of 40 proposals will be selected from 40 teams. Each team will then be given a financial assistance of Rs 75,000 to develop a proof of concept (PoC) and a working prototype of the proposed solution within 3-4 months. Winners of Phase 1 will get Rs 25,000 in prize money.

The second stage of product development is called PoC. This round will select 20 teams and provide them with development expenses of up to Rs 5 lakh. The winning teams will be awarded a prize of Rs 50,000. The last and final phase, field implementation, will select a winner and two/four runners-up in each vertical and will be appropriately supported for field deployment of their solutions.

Tech startups, MSMEs, companies, LLPs participating in the challenge, must have at least 51% stake in an Indian citizen or a person of Indian origin. The applicant entity should not be a subsidiary of a foreign corporation. The objective of this challenge is to address the problem of wastage of sliced ​​onions due to the use of outdated and traditional methods of onion processing and storage.

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