Monday, September 30, 2013

Organization Profile : Jain Irrigation


Vendor Profile :
When we started out in 2011, we decided to drip irrigate our entire farm due to the enormous savings in water, power and labour. We invited multiple drip irrigation solution providers and eventually decided to settle with Jain Irrigation. Savera Farms may be their larger non-institutional client in Sivangagai and immediate districts. Having worked with them for over 3 years, we now have a fairly good sense of their strengths and weaknesses.

Good  Stuff :
Jain Irrigation has a fairly good presence in this area owing to Shakti Sugars. However, they have recently closed their office in Pilloor on Sivagangai-Madurai road. Jain Irrigation recruits quite a few young energetic diploma holders for their site installation projects, however deeper domain knowledge is required. They have been fairly successful in penetrating government funded subsidy programs. They are well penetrated in the local district agriculture or horticulture department so there is a good chance the agri officer will recommend Jain products. Upper management has been accessible based in Udumalpet, Tamil Nadu. There have been instances when we have escalated to their VP and they have assisted with expediting various resolutions and installation delays.

Not Excited About :
Over the years our satisfaction levels have started to dip significantly. Their local area depot closed down in Sivagangai due to weakening sales. The local dealership has essentially become a shell with most items not in stock. The local office stocks minimal inventory and sometimes have to source materials from as far as Jalgaon Maharashtra. There has been a lot attrition/re-assignment of on-site staff lately and we have had to work with a new / different coordinator every 3-4 months. Company organization and middle management has seen significant re-assignment as well. Amusingly, we once had an agronomist doing collection of outstanding balances.
Although they claim to be the cheapest in the market, one should be careful to take their designs on face value. Cheapest/minimal amount of pipes may not be best option for every farm. For instance, their initial design was to irrigate our Mango and intercrop fodder with the same submain pipes. The benefit is that you can service two crops with one submain pipe, but the downside is you cannot control the irrigation/fertigation etc. So while a two submain pipe is more costly, you can control the irrigation based on need of the crop. After all, we are doing precision irrigation, aren’t we ? You have to make the entire system user friendly, even though that may cost you a couple more master valves to control a certain segment of the farm. I did not see these ideas coming from them since they had a single point agenda – reduction of cost!

Overall, Jain Irrigation has been a long term partner with Savera Farms. They have made valuable contributions but doing business with them has not always been smooth. We have had to spearhead several issues and escalate to the upper management. Since most of their business is subsidy based, prompt installation has not been a priority. We have been called a demanding customer, not sure it that is a compliment or if we are stretching them a little too much!

**Disclaimer**
The above views are based solely on Savera Farm experiences with this vendor.
Readers may take our feedback into account but must make their independent assessments.
The vendor has not sponsored or directly attempted to influence this commentary.
Reviewed vendors may contact us directly for corrections or concerns if needed.

7 comments:

  1. I had a similar experience with Jain. Yes, we have to push them hard (also increase our blood pressure!!!) to get the work done. One good thing is their quality of material is good (valves, sand filter, screen filter, venture injector, emitters etc).
    My suggestion is (based on experience) design your own irrigation system (giving more importance for what you said about main crop and intercrop water/fertilizer requirements, couple more master valves to control a certain segment), buy the materials from Jain/good company, use some skilled workers to install the system.

    regards
    Boopathy

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  2. Thank you for feedback about the vendor and pointers on installation.

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  3. Thanks for this article and the feed back was also interesting. However i would like to know is there any formula to design our own irrigation system. Would Mr. Marthanda Bhoopathy give some useful basic pointers. Thanks

    Giri

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  4. Visit a farm and see how they installed the irrigation system and with that idea design your irrigation system.
    1. Confirm the motor details with an engineer (open well sub-mergible pump's head requirement based on area of irrigation (Ex: 7.5 HP submergible pump with 30 m head is suitable upto 50 acres). If it is a bore well then how many level of stages the motor should have (Ex.5 HP with 12 stages for upto 10 acres).
    2. Draw the layout of main and sub-main pipes and make it as simple as possible (this will reduce excavation cost). For the above examples 3'' main and sub-main 2" pipes can be used.
    3. Design the gate valve locations efficiently.
    4. Install at-least one air-release valve in every sub-main pipe and one in the motor's inlet pipe before the filter)
    5. Install a bye-pass valve to maintain the pressure and avoid water wastage (keep the pipe outlet to pump the water towards sky. same like bore outlet. This will avoid forced water hit the well walls)
    Note: Don't use sprinkler if the water is salty (PH 8.3+ ) instead use drip irrigation.

    Good Luck!!!

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  5. Hi,

    Thanks for sharing.

    For our coconut farms, we ourselves install the drip irrigation. The main PVC pipes are installed for carrying water across farms for direct watering. And from the main PVC pipes we install sub PVC pipes with valves for drip irrigation. Some install auto-fertilizer system near pumping area to mix with drip irrigation based on the need.

    Recent implementation near by our areas is the micro-drip, in which the trees are encircled with lateral tube (HDPE) having 4 to 6 micro valves at a height of 1 to 2 feet from ground level. This tube is connected with lateral running over the trees. This helps irrigating more trees and watering away from trees helps spreading of root system.

    Almost 20 years back we ourselves have installed drip irrigation from Flowtech, Coimbatore. We do have spares and replace whenever damaged. Later days for other farms, we have changed vendors just for cost. We do purchase from Jains, Udumalpet.

    Many times, subsidies are not helpful as the additional system required to meet the subsidies are costlier than DIY irrigation system.

    The T-Joins, Valves and End Caps are required for Laterals and Valves are rarely required for PVC as spares. If PVC is buried in soil, you can install small Square Cement Blocks and can use Welded T-Handles to operate the PVC valves. This will help in avoiding soil deposition over valves and easy operating.

    ...
    Soundar
    Dharapuram

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  6. I totally agree with your view and had a very bad experience with Jain Irrigation.. I drip irrigated 10 acres of Sugarcane farm with them.. Though they promised they have dedicated team to follow up and get the subsidy amount in one year, they have not helped even a bit.. and it is more than 2 years i have not received my subsidy amount.. in fact Jain forgotten to file my subsidy paper with the Govt and lost the my subsidy form completely..

    They won't visit your for any maintenance job. I took up the issue to the Jain Farm Vice President level.. though he promised some action and agreed my concern the same results continued.. Staff attrition rate is too much..

    Though i gave lot of evidence to lay the pipes above the ground, they suggested and confirmed laying the pipes below the ground will be helpful.. but eventually soil and root got stuck in the pipes and water flow was so many in some places...

    In total. I burnt my fingers working with Jain Irrigation and my sincere advice would be look for alternate supplier or local supplier, so that at least you can save some money with your installation expenses. Thanks Mukundan

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  7. Hi, Informative....thanks for sharing!!!

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