Nagaland-based firm engaged in medicinal & aromatic plant cultivation and processing.
Naga Fragrance Pvt. Ltd. was established in January 2005. The promoters of the company are Mr. Dili Solomon, director and his wife, Kapesa Dili. Based in Dimapur, Nagaland, the company is engaged in post harvest management and marketing of the agricultural products. The company addresses the marketing opportunities of the local agriculture products to increase the farmers’ saving capacity thereby also saving the environment. “As of now the farmers are producing just enough for their sustenance and the little extra they make are sold to the local market. There is no scope to produce on a large scale because there are no market facilities.
But the increasing demand for children education, medical facilities etc. made them to resort to selling of forest products and using chemicals in the agricultural fields which is affecting the environment and killing the soil,” says Mr. Solomon. “Initially, Naga Fragrance will concentrate only in the production, processing, marketing and research in the field of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (MAP). It will give priority to the indigenously available MAP. It will have a nursery cum demonstration farm with training and research units attach to it. It will have a factory where processing will be done. The finished goods will be marketed both at the national and international level. All these units will be headed by expert professionals,” he adds. The company has 50 farmers as its share holders.
Product Portfolio : The main products that the company is producing are patchouli, vanilla, black pepper, ginger, turmeric and large cardamom. “We do contract farming. We provide seedlings at a minimum price and buy back the products. We are also distilling the patchouli oil,” elaborated Mr. Solomon.
Patchouli and vanilla are the main crops promoted by the company in Nagaland region under aromatic plants. The company is presently concentrating mainly on patchouli cultivation. “We are also growing vanilla, black pepper, arecanut, raulfilia serpentina etc,” says Mr. Solomon. “We have not done so much for the medicinal plants other than some spices like ginger, turmeric and black pepper,” he adds.
Services : Speaking about the services provided by the company, Mr. Solomon says, “We have a nodal farm where we have varieties of medicinal and aromatic plants along with some indigenous herbs. This nodal farm is also used for demonstration to the farmers on the techniques of growing different types of MAP crops. We also conduct training for the farmers for management of crops. We have nurseries of MAP crops. We do contract farming. We provide nursery plants to the farmers and also the technology to the farmers. We buy back from the farmers and semi-process them and market the products.”
Main Customers : For patchouli oil the main customer is M/s S.H. Kelkar & Co. Pvt. Ltd, Mumbai. “Other products are now sold in raw form to our nearest outlet in Guwahati,” avers Mr. Solomon.
Source of Raw Materials : The company sources the raw materials from the two main districts of Nagaland – Dimapur and Kohima. “Patchouli, vanilla and black pepper are grown in Dimapur and the rest are from the hills of Kohima particularly in the Peren sub division,” elaborated Mr. Solomon.
Prodigal’s Home : Naga Fragrance is promoted by Prodigal’s Home, an NGO working towards equitable social order and sustainable development. The NGO was also founded by Mr. Solomon. “It is through the implementations of various economic development projects of this organisation for 15 years that we conceived the need to start this company. The marketing outlets for agricultural products are not organised in the state and hence this organisation. Now Prodigals’ Home also promotes the production of raw materials and the company processes and markets them,” explains Mr. Solomon.
“We are committed to the cause of sustainable economic harnessing of the natural resources through active participation of farmers promoting entrepreneurship development,” he adds. Speaking further about the functioning of the NGO, Mr. Solomon says, “For over 15 years we are moving along with the needs of the people keeping in mind the development taking place in the country as well as its feasibility and capacity of the people. We do regular ongoing studies to see the trend.”
When asked about funding received by the NGO, Mr. Solomon states that Prodigal’s Home receives foreign funding as well as funding from government of India. “We have received over Rs. 1.5 crores funding in the last financial year 2004-2005,” he reveals.
Targeted Turnover : Naga Fragrance is targeting an annual income of Rs. 25 lakhs in the financial year 2005-2006. In Naga Fragrance there are 6 full time workers while the NGO has 56 staff members.
Hurdles Encountered : Speaking about hurdles encountered by the company in promoting agricultural development in Nagaland, Mr. Solomon laments, “Unlike the rest of the country, Nagaland has a political problem and therefore there is a lot of grant in aid or subsidy that comes to the state. Hence it has killed a lot of the work culture and now people are lazy to work and they look for easy money.
Secondly, the people are not exposed and hence that commercial sense is very little or nil. Thirdly there is no marketing infrastructure or post harvest infrastructure. The government is also not setting them up as a result the private companies from the rest of India are also not coming to invest here. There are no immediate solutions to overcome these difficulties. What I really wish is to solve the Naga political problem at the earliest and am confident that our people can work hard in par with the rest of the country.”
Mr. Solomon did his B.Sc from St. Joseph College Bangalore. Thereafter he went to Delhi University and completed my M.A. Psychology. Soon after that he started the NGO in which he is still a director as well as the secretary and now Naga Fragrance. Speaking about the motive of the company Mr. Solomon says. “Our main motive is to help organise the market sector so that the farmers can get a better price for what they do and at the same time we also earn in return.”