Founded in 2015 by Krishankant Bohra and Nikhil Bohra, Jodhpur-based Agri startup Krimanshi manufactures nutritious climate resilient animal feeds based on alternate fibers, proteins, and fats derived from upcycling of organic food waste and agri residues.
Many animal-feed brands in India, in an effort to generate maximum profits, fall into the vicious pit of manufacturing adulterated animal feed. In dairy cattle, sheep, and goats, chronic exposure to adulterants can reduce milk production, impair reproduction and liver function, compromise immune function, and increase susceptibility to diseases. “These adulterants can contaminate a variety of livestock feeds and cause enormous economic losses, posing significant hazards on consumers’ health and rural livelihoods,” says Nikhil Bohra, Founder, and CEO of a Jodhpur-based animal nutrition startup, Krimanshi Technologies Pvt. Ltd.
Founded in 2015 by Nikhil and his father Krishankant Bohra, Krimanshi manufactures nutritious climate-resilient animal feeds based on alternate fibers, proteins, and fats derived from upcycling of organic food waste and agri residues. The startup has the capacity to upcycle up to 30 tons of food waste per day into feed ingredients and balanced compound feeds for livestock, according to Nikhil.
“Due to the growing population and developing industries, relying only on traditional sources such as soya bean meal and fishmeal would make the sources scarce and expensive in the near future. Therefore, it seems indispensable to consider alternative protein and fiber sources to replace the conventional sources in dairy and poultry feed,” explains Nikhil.
According to a World Bank report, global food waste is expected to reach 3.40 billion tonnes by 2050. It further reveals that approximately 60 percent of urban solid waste in India is organic, consisting of vegetables, food, and other debris. Bengaluru alone sees about 3,000 tonnes of organic waste is generated every day. “Rotting organic waste emits methane, which is 23 times as potent as carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas. The irony is that these resources are seldom upcycled and do not find any further use,” Nikhil says.
“We want to solve these issues of adulteration in food, finding alternative protein and fiber sources, and urban organic waste via a single solution by collecting and converting food waste into sustainable insect proteins,” he adds. Nikhil is a biotech engineer from VIT Vellore. He led Krimanshi to win the Animal Husbandry Grand Challenge 2020 organised by the Department of Animal Husbandry and Fisheries, Government of India. He has worked for donor projects under JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency), World Bank and EU on WASH (water, agriculture, sanitation and health), environment and nutrition projects and led the India operation of WaterWello - USA in the past. He currently leads R&D, product development, partnerships, and fundraising at Krimanshi. Nikhil’s father Krishankant, who is Co-founder and COO of the company, has researched organic and inorganic chemical product formulations for food, cement and mineral industries. He has over 30 years of experience working in chemical testing, production and project management and brings his expertise in quality control in food, cattle feed, minerals, cement, and chemical production. At Krimanshi, he oversees overall production processes. With their joint interest in food, biotech and chemistry, the duo come together to start Krimanshi, which hasabout 25 employees currently.
“My belief in ‘Let food be thy medicine and thy medicine shall be thy food’ is our driving force behind Krimanshi to create sustainable animal feeds business,” says Nikhil.
As per Nikhil, today, a large part of food waste under MSW (municipal solid waste) is either converted to manure, biomethane or dumped. “Conversion of organic waste into biomethane and manure is not sustainable as 1) waste generators seldom give the tipping fee to take away the waste, 2) producing biomethane is a costly affair and price realisation is often difficult, while the manure formed competes with subsidised urea fertilisers. Converting food waste to animal feed makes more sense because of the established ready to sell market, better price realisation, and additional farmer and environmental benefits,” says Nikhil.
“We are building our own greener feed ingredient supply chain which gives an edge for feed formulations. This also helps have a larger buffer to absorb price fluctuations in commodity markets while still providing the best quality feeds to livestock farmers,” he adds.
Krimanshi is trying to make the entire processes efficient and bring down the cost of insect meal below the price of fish meal to make it a viable option, forcing millers to move away from fish meal, which is one of the largest contributors to carbon emission and can be easily avoided.
Insect meal is insects being used as an alternative protein source for poultry and aqua industries. Insects are either fed as a whole or processed such as in powdery form, either fed as fresh or dried. Fish meal is a commercial product made from whole wild-caught fish, bycatch and fish by-products to feed farm animals, e.g., pigs, poultry, and farmed fish.
“Unlike the conventional feed varieties - whose production is weather-dependent - we are moving towards climate resilient, balanced feed products that are available to livestock farmers all year round,” Nikhil says.
“Raising capital and establishing an organic food waste supply chain as raw materials are our biggest challenges that we need to overcome in order to scale,” admits Nikhil about the challenges they faced on the way. “As feed tech is still in its nascent stage, we need patient investment to help us build this feed stack faster and better.”
“To keep pace with our production targets, we need to keep adding partners who can generate organic food wastes , and they could be anything from APMCs (agricultural produce market committees) to food/ agro processing industries,” Nikhil reveals