Vibez Estate – pursue farming and maintain farm house

Manages pomegranate and coffee estate for farming enthusiast professionals

“There are many people who want to own agricultural farmland, pursue farming and maintain farm house but could not due to their professional commitments. So we did a pilot project to understand if people would buy coffee estate and we received a very positive response! In this way we got into developing and promoting coffee estate,” says Mr. Ashwin Kumar, Co-founder, Vibez Estate. “People would buy the farmland but who would maintain it! Many were dependent on relatives/friends/employees. End result was estate was neglected and money was misused. Myself and Mr. Ramakrishna Reddy could relate to the problem and established Vibez Estate to monitor the production and maintain the estate. Later we also started similar model for pomegranate farming.” Company was started in 2009. It is located at Bangalore and manages coffee estate in Chikkamagalur and Sakeleshpur, Karnataka while pomegranate in Pawagad at the borders of Karnataka.

Mr. Ashwin Kumar receiving the award

Vibez Estate works on the model, ‘Ownerships is yours-Workmanship is ours’. Based on this model, company signs a maintenance agreement with the clients. Agreement clearly states the role and responsibilities along with specific clause to monetary understandings. “People found the model interesting and agreement transparent. As a result presently we have around 288acres under cultivation for different clients. Approximately 175-180 professionals are our clients. They are happy with us and are also getting good revenues,” he claims. Company specializes in coffee and pomegranate cultivation. At the moment it is focused in these crops. “We prefer mono cropping,” he adds.

30acres is the minimum acreage of the farmland taken by the company. If the farmland is situated at the place different from above mentioned locations then minimum 50acres farmland is considered for the agreement. “First we visit the farmland to inspect the available resources such as water, soil, electricity and road connectivity. Once satisfied with the farming conditions at the location we proceed with the agreement,” informs Mr. Ashwin Kumar on the project undertaken.

Speaking on financial agreement he elucidates, “Investment in the estate and maintenance expenditure is borne by the customer. In the revenue that is generated from the produce, a percentage is taken by us as a commission and rest is given to the client.” Nevertheless company does not interfere in the farmland purchase. It is focused on crop cultivation, and maintenance and selling the produce.

Pomegranate Farm

Clients are updated weekly on the farm progress through online interaction. “We provide every member with a user id and password. They can login as they want to check on work progress and expenses incurred. If the farming expense details are shown to a full-time farmer, he might certify that we spend reasonably infact surely lower cost,” he asserts.

Mixed farming is practiced for the cultivation. “Mainly we use organic farming inputs but we also use some chemicals such as pesticide like round up, gramaoxicillin as weedicide and linden for stem borers for Arabica plants. We prepare vermicompost on farm itself,” he explains.

IMG-20140814-WA0005

Comparing coffee and pomegranate farming potential Mr. Ashwin Kumar insists both are different as the two serves different target segments. “Coffee estate attracts the professionals who are looking for some good retirement plan. They aspire to have a farmhouse after retirement and settle there,” he shares. “On contrary pomegranate farm is preferred by those looking for some add-on income.”

In coffee plantation maintenance cost incurred is Rs. 40 thousand/acre/annum while revenue generated is Rs. 75 thousand-1 lakh/acre/annum. In pomegranate farming cost incurred is Rs. 60 thousand/acre/annum and revenue earned is Rs. 2.5lakhs/acre/annum. (These are approximate figures subject to market variations). Coffee and pomegranate harvest so far is given to the traders.

Challenges faced are identifying the proper land with clear documents, good connectivity to main road, feasibility of transportation and scarcity of labors.

Vibez Estate has received Indira Priyadarshini National Award, 2013 for rural entrepreneurship. Founders plan for expansion in acreage and crops. “Mostly by the end of 2016 we are planning to have our own outlet for coffee. In addition we want to expand our farming acreage to 500 plus acres,” he reveals the future plan. “We are now in pepper farming too. Previously pepper was grown only as intercrop in our managed coffee estate but recently we have taken up a 25 acres exclusive pepper farm in Karnataka.”

Indian agriculture industry might be disorganized but it is gaining back its shine that was lost in the past few years. “There is good scope for growth in agriculture. Many educated people are considering it as business venture,” concludes Mr. Ashwin Kumar.

Contact details-
Vibez Estate
No 121, Abiksha Complex, Bull Temple Road, Basavanagudi, Bangalore – 19
Ph: 08951234567
Email: info@vibezclub.com
Web: http://pomegranate.vibezestates.in/

Vikas Kumar – pomegranate farming

Practices different techniques to improve quality and quantity in pomegranate farming

“I opted for pomegranate farming because it has more profits and less maintenance as compared with other fruits cultivation. I am growing Bhagwa variety for past 2 years,” says Mr. Vikas, a young farmer who quit his sales job with a fertilizer company. The farm is located at Kankate Hobli, Hassan district, Karnataka.

Combination of organic and scientific (chemicals) farming is practiced at the farm. Pre monsoon season does not give good yield. “When it is cloudy, flowering will not take place and consequently yield will be less. Therefore to increase the yield we put chicken compost and keep the plants dry without water and fertilizer for a month. Later we spray ethrel,” he shares. “After 2-3 days, leaves start falling off. It helps the plants to flower.” Once the leaves fall we add fertilizer to the soil and leave it. “I use fertilizer like mixture of cow and goat dung, DAP and potash. It is the process through which pomegranate yields without rains,” he adds. “With only organic farming input the plants will flower naturally but the production would be less, consequently less income.”

Pomegranates

To increase the weight of the fruit primarily neem is used. “We also use vermicompost prepared at the farm. Initially we used to buy it at Rs. 100/kg but as it is expensive we started preparing our own compost,” shares Mr. Vikas.

Pomegranate trees in the region are prone to diseases namely chukki (dots), lightex, virex and a contagious root disease called root rot. “We use herbal medicine prepared in Bijapur to protect our fields. We buy 20 liters medicine. It is used thrice in a year. 1litre costs Rs. 5000/-. The medicine controls to the disease largely,” he claims.

In first harvest, “We get minimum 80-100 fruits/tree and 2nd harvest we get 150-200 fruits/tree,” he asserts. The first harvest gives fruits weighing more than 500gms/piece hence are sold at Rs. 80-120/kg. In second harvest, quantity per tree is more yet it is sold at a cheaper rate as weight/piece is less.

Pomegranate grows healthy with Green Harvest manure

All the produce is sold in Tamil Nadu as middleman in Karnataka asks for a higher commission. “Main distributor comes and takes our entire yield to Tamil Nadu. Every day TN gets atleast 6-7tons of fruits. Even they take waste unripe fruits. We sell it for Rs.15-20/kg and they sell in town at Rs. 40-50/kg,” he adds. “The distributor gives us what we quote and packs the fruits himself. He might get Rs.15-20 thousand commission for 1 ton fruits. It seems fair but in Bangalore and Mysore market, the middlemen demands 10-20% or Rs. 1lakh. And we have to pack the fruits properly for them. It is tedious.”

In future Mr. Vikas wants to start cattle rearing. “I want to buy Sindhi cow. I want to rear calves till 1.5years old and sell for a good rate as now there is good demand for cows,” he reveals.

Contact details-
Vikas Kumar
S/o Vijay Kumar, Kankate Hobli, D M Kurke, Arasikere Taluk, Hassan District, Karnataka
Mobile: 08746941929

K M Farms – pomegranate and drumstick farming

Engaged in pomegranate and drumstick farming

“Our country’s main feature is agriculture. We all need to do something in agriculture, we have to strongly focus and develop it,” with this belief Mr. Vasu Rao ventured into farming along with his partners Vijaya Suryakant, and Krishna Murthyand. KM Farms is located at Hiriyur, Chitradurga District, Karnataka. Pomegranate, drumstick and lemon are grown at the farm.

Bhagwa variety pomegranate is grown in 125 acres and rest 25 acres is used for PKM variety drumstick cultivation. “We opted for these two varieties as both are most popular and native varieties,” shares Mr. Rao. “Lemon from Bidar is also grown at the farm.”

Pomegranates

Pomegranate trees are only two years old yet the first yield harvested was 500 plus tons. “The second crop is expected in March and we estimate it to be more than previous year yield. One tree yields 15kgs on an average,” he adds. “Drumstick yield too was satisfactory with 50 tons last year.”

The quantity and quality of pomegranate and drumstick is good as natural farming practices are followed. “We use panchagavya and jeevaamruth prepared in-house using cow dung procured from the small dairy unit at the farm. Along with these we are using gomatura, sodamonase, trichoderma and lot of microbial products developed by IIHR and Dharwad Agriculture University,” Mr. Rao mentions farming inputs used at the farm. Milk produced at dairy unit is supplied to KMF dairy.

The products are priced at Bangalore market price. As how the price is fixed he says, “We sell our farm produce at Bangalore market price. It is linked with Bangalore market price minus the transportation cost for local buyers. Buyers come and take the produce from farm itself.”

Drumsticks

“Agriculture has lot of challenges, managing 150 acres farm is a big task! Specifically it is tough to market the produce,” he shares. Mixed cropping is recommended by many due to regular income but Mr. Rao feels it is easy to say but difficult to practice, “I think we cannot do justice to all the crops.”

Sharing future plans he concludes, “We want to start the value addition process for pomegranate like juice or wine. We are looking for the partner who can join with us. Also we want to put a bigger milk unit but after we stabilize pomegranate business.” Mushroom and small poultry division is also an area of interest for KM Farm founders.

Farming business is passion for Mr. Vasu Rao that he manages in parallel with his job. He has appointed 12managers with agriculture background to assist him with the day-to-day operations. He maintains his words ‘Everyone should be associated with agriculture in some way.’

Contact details-
KM Farms
Survey No.69, Koonikere VV Pura Road, Koonikere, Hiriyur – 577599, Karnataka
Mobile: +919448377999
Email: vasuvrs@gmail.com

Experience of a farmer – There are only 20% successful farmers. The remaining 80% are failures only

T.Ravindra – Pomegranate farmer takes up expert’s services to earn profits but unstable weather leads to losses

Farming is a gamble always. The statement stands true when ups and downs in the farmers’ life are observed. Mr. T. Ravindra is one such farmer who became rich overnight two years back but this year certainly luck is not on his side. He has 20 acres farm in Sultanpura village of Chitradurga taluk where he grows “Bhagwa” variety of pomegranates on five acres.

In 2012 he took the services of the consultant, Mr. Eshwarappa and was able to make profits of Rs. 12 lakh. The changes consultant brought at the farm were plants selection, fruits’ quality maintenance, timely application of nutrients and pesticides as required. Second harvest was also promising, but unfortunately the third harvest failed. Mr. Ravindra highlights, “I got 30 tons of fruits in first harvest and the same quantity in the second yield. But in third crop I could manage to market only 5 tons and incurred about 25 tons loss. Despite all efforts I am at loss this year because of unstable weather.”

Third harvest failed for Mr. T. Ravindra, but he is hopeful of a better tomorrow. He shares, “Yes, I am still in contact with my consultant. He is helping and offering guidance for this yield.”

Mr. Ravindra came to know about the horticulture consultant from the fellow farmers. He adds, “Mr. Eshwarappa is from Chitradurga area. He helps pomegranate farmers. He charges visiting fees for his consultation, and the farmers can contact him about any of their problems. He is always ready to offer solutions.”

“I use only chemical fertilizer for growing pomegranates,” informs Mr. Ravindra. He uses DAP, potash, bhoomishakthi, and magnesium sulfate mainly and other nutrients as and when necessary for the plants.

The produce is sold in Bangalore market and near Electronic City in Anekal taluk. Mostly buyers come to farm and buy. He informs, “This year I incurred loss. I sold the fruits at Rs. 60 per kilo. My first and second crops yielded good price.”

Year 2014 was not farming favorable as farmers faced many problems due to various reasons such as climate, insects, and blights. “Our crops have failed almost 80%. Right now priority is to come out of the loss. Plants are flowering now and we have to wait for the result,” shares Mr. Ravindra.

Before signing off he expresses desire to point out, “There are only 20% successful farmers. The remaining 80% are failures only, and it is an exaggeration if they claim higher success rate. We find it difficult to recover even 50% of our expenses. There are high chances of total failure also.”

Nevertheless he concludes putting the positive step forward, “This is life. When I earned profits not much change was observed but I am feeling good and will do so always.”

Contact details-
Mr. T. Ravindra
S/o Mr. K Thippa Nayaka
Sulthanipura, Rayanahalli post
Chitradurga Dt
Karnataka 577502
Mob: 9945706217

Hosachiguru

Develops scientific and high yield pomegranate farms

Srinath Setty
Srinath Setty

Hosachiguru Farms is actively involved in pomegranate farms development. Headquartered in Bangalore, it aspires to build an institution that generates ‘Green ROI’. To cultivate land productively and sustainably to generate attractive returns to the green-conscious stake holders is their motto.

Hosachiguru started developing high yielding, scientific cultivated pomegranate farms about three years ago. Their pomegranate and sandalwood farms are located in Rayadurga in Anantapur district of Andhra Pradesh. Estimated value of their investment is $ 1million. Current value of their nurseries and plantations amount to about $4 million. Hosachiguru follows a five step process for a scientific, environment friendly, bottom line driven commercial farming of pomegranate and other horticulture products.

These steps include right crop, right land, right technique, minimisation of uncertainty and maximum utilisation of potential. They pick land with high potential, usually less than 20Km from tier 2 cities. This land is then developed into a scientific, commercially attractive and high yield farm.

Proprietary technique called “Power Grow” – with a mix of sandalwood and pomegranate is used for the same. Power Grow was developed by Hosachiguru after more than 5 years of scientific experimentation. “Power Grow essentially involves a well-established scientific process tailored to plant type, that aims to optimize plant development by carefully managing light, water and nutrient input” shares Mr. Srinath Setty, director of marketing and sales.

Hosachiguru’s customers include professionals from cities with a farming streak in them, people looking for passive income and the ones who want to contribute to the environment. These customers buy developed pomegranate farms from Hosachiguru. Once the land is registered in the customers’ names, Hosachiguru manages the farms for 15 years. Their services include farm management, fertilizer, pesticide management, pruning, replacing any mortality, harvest, technical assistance and rainwater harvesting. “We are getting excellent response from our target customers.

We have successfully completed two projects, about 100 acres in total, and will be launching our next projects very soon” adds Mr. Setty. They reach out to their target customers through their website, email campaign, print media. This company also conducts workshops for focused audience.

Hosachiguru is currently in the process of setting up cold storage and downstream processing in arils separation and packing units. They are also working with certain high tech Israel and US companies that have the best pomegranate processing units. Speaking of the increasing demand for pomegranate, Mr. Setty says, “pomegranate has become the 18th most popular fruit in the world. The statistics indicate that in the next few years, it will be in the top 10 list of most favorite/popular fruits in the world.

A countless number of products now contain the fruit, which is obviously immensely versatile.” Apart from its consumption, pomegranate is widely being used in products such as shaving gel, shampoo, lip guard and soaps. However timely inputs of water, pesticide and fertilizers are important in raising a pomegranate farm. Mr. Setty only sees high growth in pomegranates’ demand in future making its development a profitable business.

Hosachiguru management team is represented by Hemanth P, Director, CEO, Strategy and Investment, Srinath Setty, Director, Marketing and Sales, Sriram, Director Farm Operations.

Our Correspondent

Contact details : Hosachiguru Farms
#315, Ganjam, 2nd Floor, 14th Cross, 2nd Block, Jayanagar, Bangalore, Karnataka 560011, Phone: +080 6488 0000
Mob: 9164880000
Email: Srinath@hosachiguru.com
Web: http://www.hosachiguru.com/

Source : Agriculture & Industry Survey