Offers odorless composting solution to manage piling waste. Also deals in organic farming inputs
“Managing waste is not charity or hobby, but the responsibility of all,” says Dr C. N. Manoj, Chief Executive, Pelican Biotech. He established the company in 2003 at Alappuzha, Kerala, as a social enterprise that will provide alternate life style solutions, complimentary to nature and healthy ecosystem. It developed Pelrich Composorb, a solution for waste management.
Highlighting the product, Dr Manoj says, “It generates a soilless planting media that will enable gardening directly into the compost,” a system ideal for the urban community where nutritive rich soil is relatively difficult to find. Composorb not only composts the waste but also absorbs obnoxious gases. Further the compost degenerates rapidly paving way for addition of compost every month. Or else people will get rid of waste but end up with pile of compost. The reason for the same is less EC value and less C:N ratio.
Speaking about the idea of developing Pelrich Composorb, he says, “It was derived out of a DBT (dept of biotechnology) sponsored project to find solutions for fish waste in Kerala. We derived a fungal inoculum that rapidly converts fish waste into a soilless planting media/manure. Later we got the urban waste management challenge where we tweeked composorb to accommodate biodegradable waste composting.”
Composorb contains fungal inoculums in coir pith that leads to odorless composting. “Municipalities practicing centralized composting, apartments involved in source level composting in byobin and individual houses carrying out bucket bin composting use the product.”
Awareness on the product is created through volunteers involved in waste management, exhibitions, environmental groups, and NGOs. Conventional marketing tools are not employed in order to reduce the cost of sales and pass the advantage to the buyer. Response received is very good. Dr. Manoj shares, “Those who want to do waste management are definitely happy. However that segment is very less. It is less than 10%.”
The cost of the product is Rs.12/Liter to be used in a ratio of 1:10. “We can use 5 liters of composorb (costing Rs.60) to make 50 liter of soilless planting media from waste. In open market, that will cost around Rs.200-300.”
The company also produces and supplies organic agri inputs namely pelrich plus, a manure, bioboost, micronutrient foliar spray, biorakshak, chitosan based organic insecticidal foliar spray and mycochitin, a patented formulation. Except organic manure that is generic, all other products are proprietary. Mycochitin is used up by DBT for international patenting. Bioboost and biorakshak are the first chitosan-based foliar sprays. “Market competitiveness among organic stake holders is not at all a factor for us. However competition from chemical substitutes is there,” shares Dr. Manoj. The major challenge faced by the company is that concept of soilless planting media and parameters like EC, C:N ration are all new to the customers. “We are now teaching the concept”, he adds.
“It is those who appear to ignore the requirement of waste management that are not responding to any call of this necessity,” says concerned Dr. Manoj and adds, “There is plenty of money in waste management which as usual is ending up in the wrong hands.”
Pelican Biotech looks forward for “public to own up their waste.” Dr. Manoj believes, “If the government lets the citizens take that responsibility, as a nation we can achieve unprecedented advantages.”
Dr. C.N. Manoj holds Ph.D in Natural Products.
Kodamthuruthu, (Near Kuthiathode KSRTC Bus Stop),
Mob: 94473 65542
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