Shadenets for agri purpose

Headquartered in Mumbai, Rishi Packers provides shade nets and greenhouse films.

Rishi Packers Limited is a multi-product company operating for over 15 years. The company is engaged in the manufacture of PP woven bags and fabric and HDPE knitted fabric commonly known as shade nets sold under the brand name KrishiNet. The company supplies shade nets all over the world, having dealer network in India and overseas body of representatives in major countries in the world.

The company manufactures and exports shade net, raschel bags, green house films, scaffolding nets, hail net, crop protection nets, woven sacks and fabrics. The product range consists of knitted, woven sacs, geotextiles, green house films and rachel bags. Headquartered in Byculla (West), Mumbai, the yarn, fabric and bag manufacturing plants of the company are located in Daman, about 180 kms from Mumbai.

Products Range
Following is the products range of the Rishi Packers:
· Knitted: This range consists of KrishiNet brand of shade nets for various greenhouse and general applications.

· Woven Sacs & Geotextiles: It consists of laminated / unlaminated PP woven sacks for the packing of powdered and granulated industrial products. Woven geo-textile. Woven geotextiles have various applications in coastal areas, waterways and canals, reinforcement for retaining walls etc.

· Green House Films: Green house polyethylene films consist of UV films, which is UV stabilised film suitable for covering greenhouse and poly house; LDF films, which help in scattering the light rays entering the green house; GP Films, a general purpose plastic film which can be used for low tunnels, covers, lean to sheds etc; and Mulch films used to cover the soil surrounding plant.

· Rachel Bags: These bags are used for packing of fruits and vegetables. It is designed to preserve fruits and vegetables during transportation, storage, etc; is cost effective packing that will reduce wastage of product during storage, handling and transportation.

Speaking about their brand KrishNet, Mr. Kamlesh Bhatia, marketing manager, Krishi Packers, says, “KrishiNet shade nets are made of high quality polymers. It fulfils the task of giving appropriate microclimate conditions to the plants. For optimum shade conditions, shade values are achieved by changing the knitting patterns and yarn configurations. Our shade nets are treated to resist UV radiation, does not tear or fray, knitting upto 6 gauge and 9 gauge, available with eyelets. We do manufactured Tape + Tape, Tape + Mono and Mono + Mono from 15% to 90% shading in 50-350 GSM.”

Explaining further, Mr. Bhatia says, “Eyelet is an option in the shade nets that is either provided inbuilt by way of knitting or externally by way of aluminum rings fixed at the edges,” adding, “We can make nets from either tapes only called as Tape+Tape or when mixed it is called Tape+Mono, or when only monofilament is used it is called Mono+Mono. Further we can make these nets very light weight ranging from 50 grams per sq mtr to 350 grams per sqmtr.”

Speaking about the company, Mr. Bhatia says, “We are one of the few companies which is a public limited company having intensive setup having latest techniques equipment and research and development centre, quality inspection department, which ensures consistent good quality nets matching with international standards.”

Application of Shade Nets
Shade nets have various agriculture application like it is used for cultivation of cutflowers, vegetables and tissue plants in green house; to protect ornamental plants, flowers, foliage, indoor plants in shade house; to protect young plants from windy conditions; to prevent hail from reaching the plants; and protection from birds and insects. It is also used for cattle and poultry shed; swimming pool cover; safety net for building repairs; garden enclosure and other fencing; balcony shade; open air restaurant shade; playground shade; and shade for cars, motorcycle/cycle parking etc.

[hidepost] Mr. Bhatia says, “Presently shade nets are used in floriculture, tissue culture, olericulture etc, but the main crops are grapes tomatoes flowers like anthurium, vanilla beans, carnation, gerbera etc and plantation crops like tea, coffee, spices.” He goes on to add, “Obviously green houses will give better growth but at a very high cost, shade nets give the option of low-cost with low growth which is very much feasible for farmers of India to try new crops at low-cost options.”

Market Size
The company gets the maximum business from western India, “We are mainly focused in the western part of the country because here the farmers are most progressive and ready to accept new techniques compared to other parts of the country. We are supplying more than 3 million sq. meter in the Indian domestic markets and balance in the export markets.” The company exports KrishiNet to Gulf countries, U.K., Portugal, Spain, New Zealand and SriLanka. Some of its prominent clients are cement, petrochemical companies in India including L&T, Ambuja, IPCL, etc.

Source of Raw Materials
The company procures raw material like HDPE granules from Reliance Industries and U.V. master batch is imported from Germany, Australia, Thailand etc. Mr. Bhatia admits that the company does not have any ISO certification. He however adds, “But our internal system are equivalent to international standards, recently we have won award for our quality by international company B.I.D Spain, which has given us trophy award called QC100.”

Cost of Shade Net
Giving an estimation of the cost of shade net for covering one acre of vanilla cultivation, Mr. Bhatia says, “Apart from the structure cost our nets can be used as covering material, for 4400 sq. mtr. It will cost approx Rs. 75000 to 100000 depending upon the shade percentage opted for.”

Regarding maintenance of the net, Mr. Bhatia says, “Once installed no maintenance is required if there is no handling of the nets. Also tying techniques should be perfect so that the load of the nets do not come on the point of attachment, basically one can expect a life of 3 years to 7 years depending on handling methods.”

Annual Business Turnover
The turnover of the company was Rs.27 crores in the last financial year. Out of the total turnover the export turnover constitutes 15%. The company has 300 people working for it. “We have 30 dealers and is growing every year,” says Mr. Bhatia.

Mr. Bhatia says, “India is one of the fastest growing countries in the world for shadenets, but simultaneously other countries’ demand is growing due to the global warming and depletion of ozone layer.” He says that there is scope for the business to be scaled up. “But certain factors are needed for the growth such as good price for the produce, availability of finance to the farmers, repayment of loans on time by the farmers etc. This will result in market of 10 million sq. mtr market for cultivation,” he opines.

However, Mr. Bhatia says, “The company is facing difficulties in expanding the business due to abrupt demand pattern wherein one cannot supply during season time, we are solving this problems by developing other applications and exports.” Mr. Bhatia is bachelor in science, having done post graduation in marketing and sales management, and additional operations and systems management diploma. He also has over 10 years of work experience.

Our Correspondent[/hidepost]