Ajay Gopi (age 19) started ‘Hands on Agriculture’. Ajay and his team decided to change the common farming methods through aquaponics. This is an affordable, accessible, and low-energy consuming agricultural practice in which plants grow using the same water as fish.
Ajay has set up a prototype, which shows how to grow plants (like lettuce) with tilapia fish to then sell to restaurants. He wants to work on eliminating the middle man so that producers can have a direct connection to the consumers of their products, leading to fairer prices.
The project has been operating since December, 2016, at the Kaggalipura Rural Makerspace and has already engaged community members who have been integral in the process of setting up a proof of concept aquaponics structure. Ajay is currently working with farmers who wish to set up their own aquaponics system.
Ajay went against the explicit will of his parents in pursuing a project that allows him to make a difference. He is now the head of Project DEFY in Mangalore, a makerspace that encourages people to be creative. He works to inspire other young people to start their own projects and contribute to society.
Catch Ajay Gopi at the CII 13th India Innovation Summit 2017. Register here: https://goo.gl/3G6UGQ