Plant tissue culture company. Headquartered in Kerala. Located at about 30 KM from Palakkad town.
Bio craft was established in 2004. It is a plant tissue culture company. Mr. Pappan Jacob and Mr. K. P Thomas are the two partners of Biocraft. “Being an agriculturist, I and my partner, of getting into an agriculture related business. Mr. Thomas was a teacher though he is basically an agriculturist,” says Mr. Pappan Jacob. Bio Craft is headquartered in Kerala.
“Our area of activity involves commercial tissue culturing. We have not yet setup a research lab. The company is located at about 30 KM from Palakkad town,” he adds.
The range of plants the company deals in are the following
Ornamental Foliage :
*Syngoniums,*Spathyphylums, *Cordyline, *Calathea, *Dieffenbachia * Aglaonema, *Ficus, *Philadendron *Yucca *Flowering *Dianthus * Chrysanthemum *Limonium *Gerbera
Spice Crops : * Cardamom, *Vanilla, *Ginger, *Turmeric, *Pepper, *All-spice,
These plants are used for controlling the insects.
*Dionea, *Sarracenia, *Utricularia
Horticulture Crops :
*Red Banana, *Nendran, *Musa, *Straw Berry, *Pine Apple, *Mulberry
Medicinal Plants : *Stevia, *Achorus, *Cholorophytum, *Dioscorea, *Aconitum, *Safedmusli
Bio craft specializes in micro propagation of flowering, medicinal, temperate green foliages and horticultural products. The facility is spread over 5,000 sq. ft of area. It has the following infrastructure facilities:
* Class 100 production area, * Growth chambers, * Post sterilization room, * Media preparation * Despatch room.
Bio Craft also has a green house area, which is spread over more than 6000 sq.ft with a hardening facility to accommodate more than 1,00,000 plants at a time.
“Bio craft has class 100 microfiltered laminar air flow benches,” avers Mr. Jacob. The company has the production capacity to produce 2 –3 million plants annually. “We have employed more than 30 technicians with an efficiency of producing 50000 plants individually (per month) with higher quality and low rejection rate,” he maintains.
Explaining micro propagation, Mr. Jacob says, “It is a method of reproducing the plants with the same characteristics of the mother plant.
We can apply this method to all plants. We mostly do this for banana plants and floriculture ornamental plants.”
Further explaining the use of green house in plant cultivation, Mr. Jacob says, “We can use a green house for all plants. We do hardening in the green house.”
He goes on to elaborate on tissue culture saying, “Tissue culture is applied when the plantlets are multiplied for obtaining high quality plants from mother plants. The yield in fields will be the same and we can harvest in the same time.”
To keep the plants away from infections and insects, the mother cultures are treated for infection by using antibiotics and some pesticides. We also maintain hygienic condition in the lab to prevent infections. “We use the laminar air flow filters for filtering even the smallest bacteria of 300 microns,” Mr. Jacob emphasizes.
He further says, “We maintain a strict periodical validation of our clean area and conduct particle count tests twice in a year. Our growth rooms are maintained hygienically and our staffs are trained to keep a vigilant eye on the infections and remove them with immediate effect.”
Market for Products
The company predominantly takes up sub contracting works for nurseries. “Good quality plants have good demand everywhere,” states Mr. Jacob. Some of its prominent clients include Ace Agrotech, Hyderabad; Eswar Agrotech, Hyderabad; and Sunglow Biotech, Coimbatore beside others.
Bio Craft also has tie up with a co-operative society, which procures plants from the company. “Small farmers around us also buy from us. We do it as a service and the charges for consultation depend on the requirements,” he avers. At the present the company is concentrating only in the local markets. “We don’t at present have international clients but we will get all technical support when we enter into contract with them,” avers Mr. Jacob.
There are at present 12 direct employees and 12 on call helpers working in the company. “Our turnover is over Rs. 20 lakhs,” avers Mr. Jacob.
The company markets its products directly. “The only problems we face are payment delay and order cancellation which forces us to go for further orders,” says Mr. Jacob.
Further commenting on government help towards improving the industry, Mr. Jacob says, “Kerala at present renders no help. If the government could help this industry by means of power, marketing the products, and labor, it would be of very great help to us.”
Mr. Jacob is optimistic about the future of tissue culture industry in India. “I do not forsee any problem for the next 5 years at least,” he maintains.
In future the company wants to enter the export market. “We want to get direct foreign orders, and take up direct sales in other states. We are also looking for government orders,” avers Mr. Jacob. By way of qualification he has studied till his PUC.