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Build a
Waste-free World
2023 Winner

S4S Technologies

S4S Technologies’ solar-powered dryers and processing equipment combats food waste, enabling small-hold farmers to preserve crops and turn produce that might otherwise go to waste into valuable products.

Much of India’s rural population relies on smallholder farming for their income and livelihoods. But every year about 30% of agricultural produce is wasted before it leaves the farms.

This is because bumper crops and price fluctuations often force farmers to leave unsellable crops rotting in the fields. These wasted crops squander the precious energy and water used to grow them, demand additional resources for their disposal and cause income losses for small farmers, which can deepen rural poverty and exacerbate inequality.

S4S Technologies' Solution

Founded in 2013 by six university friends – Nidhi Pant, Vaibhav Tidke, Swapnil Kokte, Ganesh Bhere, Shital Somani, Tushar Gaware and Ashwin Pawade – S4S Technologies combats food waste, rural poverty, and gender inequality by helping smallholder female farmers preserve and market surplus produce.

The organisation provides rural communities with cheaper solar-powered conduction dryers and food processing equipment to prepare their crops on-site, rather than using cold storage or other more expensive methods of conventional industrial food preservation.

With a focus on supporting female farmers, S4S also supports its entrepreneurs in using the preserved waste to produce and sell valuable food products, such as ketchup. S4S creates a market, connecting commercial buyers to these products and returning most of the profits to the farmers who made them.

Their Impact

Some 300,000 women smallholder farmers supported by S4S have recorded 10- 15% increases in their profits, while the 2,000 female entrepreneurs they partner with have seen incomes double or even triple. By 2025, S4S wants to extend their reach to three million smallholder farmers and 30,000 entrepreneurs. By 2026, they predict they will have reduced food waste by 1.2 million tonnes and removed the equivalent of 10 million tonnes of CO2 from the atmosphere.

Other 2023 Build a Waste-free World Finalists

Learn About the Earthshots

Protect
and Restore
Nature

By 2030, we choose to ensure that, for the first time in human history, the natural world is growing – not shrinking – on our planet. 

This Earthshot focuses on three main areas of interest: 

  1. Protecting areas of high biodiversity such as forests, wetland, peatlands and wildlife corridors
  2. Restoring damaged ecosystems
  3. Feeding people while protecting nature
Learn more about this Earthshot

Clean Our
Air

By 2030 we choose to ensure that everyone in the world breathes clean, healthy air – at World Health Organization standard or better. 

This Earthshot focuses on three main areas of interest: 

  1. Engaging citizens in data collection and clean air policies
  2. Preventing the burning of fields, forests and waste
  3. Transitioning to clean transportation for all
Learn more about this Earthshot

Revive Our
Oceans

By 2030, we choose to repair and preserve our oceans for future generations. 

This Earthshot focuses on three main areas of interest: 

  1. Protecting and restoring coastal ecosystems
  2. Replenishing fish populations
  3. Reducing demand for fishmeal
Learn more about this Earthshot

Build a
Waste-free
World

By 2030, we choose to build a world where nothing goes to waste, where the leftovers of one process become the raw materials of the next – just like they do in nature. 

This Earthshot focuses on three main areas of interest: 

  1. Reducing food loss from farm to fork
  2. Phasing out single-use and non-recycled plastics
  3. High-value circularity in fashion and electronics
Learn more about this Earthshot

Fix Our
Climate

We choose to fix the world’s climate by cutting out carbon: building a carbon neutral economy that lets every culture, community and country thrive. 

This Earthshot focuses on three main areas of interest: 

  1. Creating an equitable clean energy future
  2. Addressing non-CO2 greenhouse gas emissions
  3. Decarbonising hard to abate sectors
Learn more about this Earthshot
The Earthshot Prize