Sunday, November 20, 2011

Events Page

I have created an Events page which contains information on agri fairs, expos, seminars etc. If you aware of any agri related shows/fairs/exhibitions in the near future, do mail me at
Additionally, if you have an article to share related to innovative agri technology, farmer profile or anything relevant to agri, send me a mail so that others can benefit as well.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Mango planting videos

Videos of our UHD Mango plantation are below. At the time of planting, 200 gm of Neemcake and 100 gm of Single super phosphate were added. The former is an organic insecticide while the latter promotes root development.  Manuring was complete earlier to expedite the planting process. Saplings were dipped in 2gm/L Bavistin solution which mitigates fungal infections.

Happy viewing!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Transplanting brinjal...

After raising the brinjal seedlings in the shade net for over 35 days, we transplanted them on October 16th. Typically, the seedlings are ready by 25 - 30 days but we had to wait out a little more due to delays in EB supply.
We engaged 2 - 4 labourers to transplant seedlings for 0.5 acre. Since there were other competing activities at the time, we completed the planting activity over 2-3 days. To give you idea, 0.5 acres is 55 beds with width of 1.2m and length of 30 m. Drip was aligned in the center of the bed. Seedlings were planted 30 cm away (keeping drip line as center) and 45 cm from the next seedling. There are multiple grid sizes being used depending on the variety but 60 x 60 cm and 60 x 45 cm are quite common.

It takes 4-5 days for the seedlings to establish. Do not be disappointed if they look dull and weak in the first few days, like in the picture below.

A week later, they all look more invigorated!

A closer look..they are flowering already!

Some of you may have noticed that we started off with one drip lateral but in the later pictures two laterals were present. Since we are irrigating only half an acre (system was designed to irrigate 1 acre at a time), there is too much water pressure on the sub mains. As a result, we are irrigating with 2 drip laterals (equivalent to 1 acre) but cutting the operating time by half (now down to 1 hour).

Drip laterals are inline (built in drippers) spaced at 60 cm with a discharge rate of 4LPH. 
We are following fertigation every 3 days comprising of Urea, All 19, Mono Ammonim Phosphate (12:61:0) and Potassium Nitrate (13:0:45)

Friday, November 4, 2011

Farmer Profile : Kevin Cherian (Multi-produce approach)

We thought it would be good to acknowledge some of our industry colleagues in this section aptly titled 'Farmer Profile'. Each profile will provide background details on the farmer, best practices developed / followed by them and finally contact information for our readers to reach out to these mentors directly.

Most people who come into the farming business lose heart because there is no proper guidance available and have to do most of the things on a trial and error basis and by the time they find the right way to do it, they are either financially broke or fed up with the whole process. The main reason is that very few who do it professionally, others have no domain knowledge and those who are successful often do not mentor or share experiences (for free). Another breakpoint is the inability to market your produce effectively. With all the running around you do to gather information, the time spent, the money spent on producing that specific product, you finally end up with less than the production cost for the product. The main reason is the lack of proper marketing system in place that supports the farmer. The person who makes the money is the middlemen.Lastly, the long(er) gestation period is another deterant. The grower has to wait for the crop to yield and provide returns. This often takes 5-6 months after planting or sowing depending on the corp.

Now if guidance is available and the grower gets value for their product (proper marketing) and immediate gratification (quick returns) is possible, the whole process of farming is interesting and much more profitable. All this happens by proper planning. You need to budget your capital into different sections. In the last three years I did a lot of experiments and made several mistakes.

Kevin has devised a module that has started to bring in results. For immediate returns he has Quail and duck layers on his farm. Quail start laying at 45 days after hatching and they lay 300+ eggs at one go. The space requirement is less ( in 300 sq ft you can grow 2500 quail on a multilayer stand system),feed conversion ration is profitable. Ducks also give quick returns because layer ducks are available and so no waiting for five and a half months for the duck to start laying. They are easy to manage because of their feeding pattern. In the normal case where you sell a duck egg for 2.75/- in the wholesale market, the cost of production would be 2 to 2.25/-. but the cost can be brought down to 1.25 to 1.5/-(the profit is .75 ps to 1 rupee more than the normal practice) per egg plus the sale price increased from 2.75 to 3.5/-(proper marketing gives you another 75 ps extra here too). Same is the case of quail eggs, you can make a profit of .75 to 1/- per egg.
He has also planted bush jasmine (1000 nos). This crop has a life of 15 years and the rates per kilo are very promising. Another veg corp that has started yielding is Ivy gourd. This plant starts yielding within 45 to 60 days of planting ans has a life of 3+ years. It is a creeper plant and gives two harvest per week.

Kevin can be contacted for details around planning, costing, operating and marketing expenses for each produce listed above. Kevin entered farming to make money and while his first few years were disappointing but his determination is showing results now. He is more than happy to guide anyone who needs support is willing to share his experiences. Kevin may be reached at or 9845520116 / 9900039462