Potro, a startup dedicated to sustainable solutions, implementing an initiative called SOBUJ-e (sustainable Optimized Bio-dynamic uplifting Journey- efficiently) in collaboration with Welthungerhilfe, a German private aid organization, to combat climate change and foster sustainable agriculture in Bangladesh.
SOBUJ-e helps to solve food problems in Bangladesh by offering a portable farming system that improves nutrition and sustainable food production at an affordable price & hopes to be adopted globally.
A recent World Bank report indicates that climate impacts may lead to 13.3 million internal migrants in Bangladesh over 30 years, with a higher impact on women. Severe flooding could cause a 9 percent GDP decline. Escalating environmental costs necessitate increased climate financing, with Bangladesh requiring $12.5 billion (3% of GDP) for effective climate action in the medium term.
Potro and WHH aim to raise $100K over initial phase for SOBUJ-e, focusing on efficient and sustainable farming. The initiative addresses the pressing challenges of climate change, lack of nutrition including potential internal migration and severe economic threats from flooding.
SOBUJ-e, initiated in 2023, projects a proof of concept by 2024, with 50 prototypes featuring mobile vertical garden systems. The initiative seeks to empower vulnerable communities to engage in agriculture and achieve self-sufficiency despite climate variability.
After completing his architectural studies, Sumon Paul, the founder and CEO of Potro, established the company for sustainable solutions and landscaping. "I've personally witnessed the critical importance of agriculture to both individual lifestyles and the national economy, and I believe there are still many ways in which it can be improved," he emphasized.
In its initial phase, SOBUJ-e is actively deploying its modules in flood-prone areas of Bangladesh, specifically Sunamganj and Sylhet. After six months of operation, positive impacts are already evident. Fayzul Haq, one of the users, expresses, "The process is very inspiring and shareable. If the costs reduce further, more people will likely be interested." Delowar from Shantiganj highlights the benefits of verticality, stating that it assists in cultivation during heavy rainfall.
As the project manager for SOBUJ-e, Shyama Dhar holds the belief that people need the right knowledge and tools for practicing sustainable agriculture. This entails learning methods to farm without depleting the land and ensuring sustained productivity over decades, independent of climate fluctuations.
Furthermore, to fit the restricted space available in restrictive lifestyles, Potro includes urban modules into urban neighborhoods. Users who use the urban module are actively contributing to the growth of the SOBUJ-e initiative.
Potro is startup working for sustainable living & landscaping through their innovation and commitment to environmental sustainability. Started in 2019, Potro has introduced 3 innovative products, incorporated landscaping in more than 20+ projects, designed 2 public spaces, and is an ICT Bangladesh portfolio startup.
Welthungerhilfe, a leading German aid organization, founded on December 14, 1962, has tirelessly worked towards a hunger-free world. With a funding of EUR 4.75 billion, Welthungerhilfe has supported over 11,498 projects in approximately 72 countries.
This collaborative effort signals a significant step forward in addressing climate change and sustainable agriculture challenges, offering innovative solutions for a more sustainable future in Bangladesh and beyond.