Globally, we generate $120 billion of agricultural waste every year.
What farmers cannot sell, they often burn, with catastrophic consequences for human health and the environment. The burning of agricultural waste causes air pollution that in some areas has reduced life expectancy by a decade.
This week a social enterprise with innovation roots at UBC won £1 million at the inaugural Earthshot Prize in the Clean Our Air category. The Earthshot Prize is run by the Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
Takachar has developed a cheap, small-scale, portable technology that attaches to tractors in remote farms. The machine converts crop residues into sellable bio-products like fuel and fertilizer.
Takachar was co-founded by local entrepreneur Kevin Kung.
Takachar’s technology reduces smoke emissions by up to 98% which will help improve the air quality that currently reduces the affected population’s life expectancy by up to 5 years. If scaled, it could cut a billion tonnes of carbon dioxide a year: a win for India’s farmers will be a win in the fight against climate change.
The Earthshot Prize is the most prestigious global environment prize in history, designed to incentivize change and help repair our planet over the next ten years.
Kung, who is Takachar’s CTO, is currently in Phase 3 of entrepreneurship@UBC’s venture program and is a postdoctoral fellow in Chemical and Biological Engineering at UBC.
Takachar is in the process of moving their R&D centre from the San Francisco Bay Area to Vancouver.
Kung’s goal is to bring attention to Takachar’s applications in wildfire management and to attract potential partners in B.C. that they can work with in the forestry and agricultural sectors.