“In India, anywhere you go, you can always find the public dustbins overflowing with food waste from households and restaurants. This waste in public spaces not only mars the aesthetic beauty of the place, but the smell and the threat it poses to the surroundings in the form bacterial diseases is unavoidable,” explains Sumit Joshi. He is a member of Team Ingenerovictus, one of the five finalist teams in the Thought for Food Challenge, along with Apoorva Mishra, Keshav Mohta, Kripashankar Singh, and Ashish Ranjan Jha, fellow students at the Indian Institute of Technology in Roorkee.
After the team learned how food waste and other organic waste can be processed into saleable organic fertilizer, they crafted their business plan with the slogan “make your waste count.”
Ingenerovictus is a food scrap collection service in which donors can request to get their food waste collected through an Android application. To incentivize potential donors to use the service, the team designed a credit system, where donors collect credits that can be used towards new food purchases at nationwide retail chains.
The students have discussed their idea with local eateries, restaurants, and retail markets. Now, their next step is to contact the farming community to gauge the market potential of their fertilizer. Regardless of the outcome of the Thought for Food competition, the Ingenerovictus team intends to continue working on the project, scaling it up bit by bit.
“A strong motivation—or you can say a reminder—comes from the ever-growing food waste [problem in India], and on the other side, the hungry and needy…Coming from such a background inspires us to combine these two issues and make a meaningful impact on society,” says Joshi.