Monday, May 26, 2014

Rainfall Trends at Sivaganga

Last August, we started recording rainfall at the Savera Farms. Although the monsoon has been truant for the last 2 years, nonetheless our records should be a good indicator of rainfall trends in the years to come. For those who are unaware, much of Tamil Nadu and this part of the country receives the Winter monsoons starting in November

In August 2013, we had 6 occurrences, primarily light showers between 2 to 4 mm. September was a shade better with 6 rain days with a maximum of 8 mm on one occasion. In October, we had 9 instances of drizzle to showers. Unfortunately, the quantum of rain was not sufficient for that time of the year. While in Novemeber, 11 days of showers were recorded, of which 7 days were consecutive. 14 days of light showers were experienced in December as well with a maximum of 25 mm of heavy rains recorded overnight.

As we progressed into 2014, there were a couple of days of light showers in January as well. It is interesting to note that there were occurrences of drizzle from February through April, a few days each month, maybe to due to climatic changes or the much touted El Nino effect. We saw some decent showers in May with the onset of South west Monsoons, a total of 10 days and 98 mm which was healthy for our horticulture crops.

June was indeed the driest month in the entire year with no rain, soaring temperature and rising electric bill throughout the state. During July, we have recorded decent rains with 48 mm. Aug 2014 has been better than last year with 70 mm of rain spread over a a few spells of mutliple days each. While the meteorology department is predicting a below average monsoon this year, we just hope that the rain gods would be kinder to Sivaganga and our favorable trend for 2014 continues!

Monday, May 19, 2014

PAVM Moringa saplings for sale

It is that time of the year when Moringa saplings should be planted. Good quality seedlings germinated from farm harvested PAVM seeds are available for sale. Any cultivators looking to setup or expand their plantations may contact us for seedlings. Buyers can request a visit to our Moringa acreages and seek cultivation guidance / clarifications from our farm supervisors. Please reach out at 94450-76595 or mail us at

Rate per sapling is Rs 15/- each with volume discounts for order size of more than 1000 saplings.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Tellachery goats for sale!

We are happy to announce that we completed 1 year of goat ops last week. It has been an incredible journey so far, with a lot of lessons learned along the way.  In the next few weeks, we will elaborate more on our learnings with commentary on practice vs theory of goat operations.

In the meanwhile, we have about 40 Tellacherry goats, ranging from 6 months to 1.5 years for sale. Kindly contact us if you are setting up a new farm or have a requirement for live goat. We are giving great pedigree animals, with documented vaccinations, well fed and maintained.

Call 91 94450 76595 or email

Monday, May 5, 2014

2014 Summer Market RoundUp and Trends

Here are a few tid-bits of market info that seem interesting enough to share. Feel free to post your interesting reads below.

In Delhi, two revolutionary ideas were showcased at an agricultural conclave which attracted attention from World Bank and were duly awarded for the groud breaking innovations. One, called Veg Sav, will substantially reduce post-harvest loss of vegetables by using edible film (coat) while the other, 'FishPaneer', is a value added item that can be processed into various products like the way milk paneer is processed in India.

Veg Sav, developed by young farm scientist V Ponvizhi Ramya of Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore, is a Bacteriophages-based based technology. The presentation, made before experts of ICAR and UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) during the conclave, explained that Bacteriophages-based bio-control measurements had great potential to enhance micro-biological safety. It could be coated on vegetables using edible film which does not have any harmful side effect.

Onno Ruhl, World Bank's country director for India, awarded the Veg Sav innovator the first prize for the best presentation while scientist Joshykumar Khangembam of Central Institute of Fisheries Education, Mumbai, who developed FishPaneer, got the second prize.

FishPaneer is a Surimi-based valued added fish product. Surimi is the Japanese term for de-boned and washed fish meat which is a wet concentrate of proteins. According to the presentation on FishPaneer, the value-added item has the nutritional quality of fish and textual characteristics of milk paneer which made it a unique product. It is a ready-to-cook product which can be processed into various products. "The technology is simple and can be easily adopted," the presentation said.

In Kochi, where malls and shopping centres dot every nook and corner, this new shopping mall is a big deal. The agri mall, proposed by the agriculture department, will serve as a platform for all agricultural products produced in the district. The malls will integrate all agriculture-related activities, products and services under one platform in tune with modern retailing. Citizens will be able to buy fresh and organic vegetable products from these malls where farmers will directly sell their products for fair market price. We have seen similar efforts of direct to customer retailing in Delhi as well.

Fertilisers, plants, seeds, farming and sowing tools, and high-tech farming equipment will also be showcased at these malls. Like regular shopping malls, these malls will have conference halls, multiplexes and food courts. The government plans to attract more people to farming and have brought even farming equipment and services under one umbrella. Besides Maradu and Muvattupuzha in Ernakulam, malls have been planned in Vengeri in Kozhikode and Sulthan Bathery in Wayanad. The proposal will give a big boost to farmers who will benefit from selling goods to end customers without the threat of intermediaries who exploit them. As for consumers, they are assured of fresh and organic products at fair market rates, said Sunil Cyriac, CEO of Ernakulam Farmers Club Association.

Lastly about agri-logistics, though not new in India it currently has a unique positioning. Suddenly India has realized that agri-logistics is not only about trucking instead it is in a new phase where efficient management is the key to success. India loses Rs 60,000 crore worth of dry agri-goods due to poor and inefficient handling/management. The industry is going through a huge transformation.  An integrated model of agri-logistics envisaging farm-level aggregation management, logistics, preservation and shelf management along with agri-financing is the need of the hour.

India is vastly deficient in warehousing. Warehousing activity alone is at around Rs 52,000 crore. India loses around 10% of its annual produce. There is a huge potential in areas such as agri-financing, warehouse receipt financing market, etc. Like any other greenfield industry, the skills do not only vary but are hugely diverse. We cannot just paste Western practices here considering the fact that the average agricultural land holding in India is at 1.33 hectares, that is it is highly fragmented and far below the world average of 3.7 hectares. Our grading practices at the farm level are virtually non-existent. We still hold 6% of our produce in the farmer's household. Besides understanding of the Indian agricultural domain, sharp analytical skills, a keen sense of best economic practices are required, too.

The industry is suffering from talent deficit but the interesting part is that it has a wide set of requirements where a fresh graduate can fetch about Rs 1.5 lakh per annum. At the entry level, an agri-domain graduate can command Rs 3 to 4 lakh per annum. A junior-level person with reasonable analytical skills can draw Rs 18 lakh whereas senior executives with 12 to 15 years' work experience with wide macroeconomic understanding can command about Rs 24 to Rs 30 lakh. Besides this, depending on the domain understanding and a keen sense of data processing capability from a strategic point of view, one can even attract packages which can be the envy of professionals in any other field.

Credits : Times of India