Solar Powered Flour Milling by

Ramsingh Kabadi, Tailor, Odisha 4

Village Level Service Provision Model

Livelihood Roti Rolling

Background

Agsalkatta is predominantly occupied by the Siddi community, a community who are descended from the East African region. The community holds about 57 households with a population strength of 375. Agsalkatta is a forest region where the villagers have around 1-10 acres of land where they grow different types of crops such as maize, paddy, sugarcane and pulses. Most of the community members are agrarians the rest being daily wage labourers. The rice grown here is used partly for self consumption (a family of 6 consumes 30 kg of rice), and around 50 quintals of rice per household is sold to the market. The community faces 5-6 hours of power cut. And during the monsoons, power cuts extended from a day to a week.

Rosy Louis Dabale, 36, belongs from Agsalkatta and owns and manages the flour mill operated at her house along with her husband. Rosy is also an ASHA worker at the nearby health center.

In 2005 when Rosie was on the field as a social worker, she attended a solar training workshop organised by SELCO. She was inspired by the technology and decided she would take up solar in the future, as it could benefit her entire community. Rosy today has a solar powered flour mill and home lighting solution and a stationary shop. Which her husband looks after in his spare time post working on the fields. The community is today dependent on her shop and solar powered milling centre.

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Technological solution

The flour machine is a 2 hp single phase system that can mill 15-16kg of grain per hour. It is a 3 hour hybrid system, i.e. combination of both grid and solar. The solar system comprises 10 panels - 250W and 8 batteries - 150 Ah and 5 KVA inverter.

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Financial Solution

There are few financial institutions in the nearest town such as national banks like SBI, rural bank KVBG and MFI like SKDRDP. She took INR 30,000 SKDRDP loan with a down payment of INR 15000 with an EMI of INR 500 per week for a period of 3 years. The total cost of the unit is INR 367000, with a Rosie contribution of INR 30000, the remaining amount was a SELCO Foundation grant.

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Schemes

In order to reduce cutting of trees, the forest department provided free LPG connection for SC, STs. Only 12 people make use of this LPG connection but it helps as they can now use more of LPG and less of wood. The forest department also provided solar which only worked for a year. They usually attend gram sabha meetings where they become aware of the schemes being proposed for their community.

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Ownership linkages and business model

Rosy runs her unit as a service based model. It is being used only for home based consumption for the community as it is extremely remote and vulnerable. There is no market structure present and there is no business activity with the milled product either.

Learnings

Rosy runs her unit as a service based model. It is being used only for home based consumption for the community as it is extremely remote and vulnerable. There is no market structure present and there is no business activity with the milled product either.

Data has not been recorded regularly. Data logger is recommended.

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Pre Intervention scenario

Rosy owns 4 acres of land where she cultivates different crops such as paddy and jowar and a few vegetables for self consumption. Initially the villagers used to do milling at the nearest town, Kesarolli, that is 4kms away, and used to get 15-20kgs milled but faced challenges as the basic means of transport was absent.

Testimonial

“I manage the flour mill at my house premise itself along with my husband. In 2005 when I was on field as a social worker, I attended a solar training workshop organised by SELCO. I was inspired by the technology and decided I would take up solar in the future as it could benefit my entire community. Today, I have a solar powered flour mill and home lighting solution and a stationary shop which my husband looks as agriculture is seasonal in nature. The technology has helped us greatly as very few own vehicles in our area so it becomes a challenge for women, especially widows to go all the way to the nearest town and spend an entire day only for milling. My entire community is today dependent on my shop and my solar powered milling centre. “

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Rosy Louis Dabale

Agsalkatta

Impact

Transportation costs have significantly reduced. Before the Rosy’s milling unit community members lost out on an entire day inorder to access the nearby milling center.

Very few own vehicles in the community. Hence it’s challenging for women, especially widows, to go all the way to the nearest town and spend an entire day to mill their grains.

Electricity bill has been reduced from 600 INR/month to 200/month.

An additional income of 2000 INR/month is being generated now.

Other community members have shown interest in the technology. Also, Rosy is eager to develop a market around the milled output and is planning to approach other institutions like RSETI. She has also expressed interest in adding a spice grinding machine to the existing flour milling machine.

Solar Powered Flour Grinding Mills

Energy efficient solar powered rice dehusking and polishing machines were developed in partnership with ALTO Precision to cater to lower volume & High Output quality needs for usage at village or cluster levels.These machines were made such that they would be:

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