Rs. 2,80,000 per acre per season is the profit that G4 agri makes solely from cauliflower. Grow Group Growers Growth or G4 as the group refer themselves as, was introduced in the last article. And now its time to dissect, what exactly did they do to to get Maximum price of Rs. 48-50 per kg, when the average price vacillates around Rs. 18- 22 per kg.
Literally and Figuratively, this is a firm on a farm.
I visited the farm, when the cauliflower was at its second harvest stage. If Second harvest sounds bizarre to you, check it here :
Generally each cauliflower plant is potent to give only curd with petite buds peeking from the sides of the plant. Dr. Bhatia realised the potential of these buds which can be metamorphosed to curds if being treated properly with nutritions at the proper growing stage. This idea kicked off so well that the with proper stage wise nutrient supply, now they are harvesting 4-5 curds from a single cauliflower plant.
If you are wondering about the health of cauliflower, then this verbatim by Mr Manish should diminish your reservations about the idea. He says, “ Sometimes it happens that, the cauliflower from the second flush is 1- 1.5 kg, while from the first flush it is 500 gm. It depends on the season as well as the nutrition management chart.”
So, How did they do it ??
Being a winter crop, cauliflowers are available in the market from late October or early November. Indians’ deep affection towards economical goods allows most of the middle class families to have cauliflower as supplementary, complimentary as well as main course during this peak season.
“The whole idea behind successful farming is better price realisation, and that happens only when the market and the customer behaviour is studied and implemented properly with respect to the produce. ” says elated Bhatia.
Cauliflowers from G4 agri, are available in the market from September whilst the seasonal cauliflower will be available after 2 months i.e. October. This window of 2 months, when cauliflower is not abundantly available in the market, G4 Agri is gaining the maximum. When during the season cauliflower is available in the market at the price of Rs. 18-25/kg , G4 sells it at the time when the price touches Rs. 48-50/kg. They make profit with the early variety of cauliflower.
But, Precociousness comes at its own cost :
Maintaining this winter crop during the hottest months of the year is a herculean task. For the September harvest, the cauliflowers are sowed in the field in June when the mercury almost touches 50 degrees. Being a vegetable of cold climate, cauliflower loathes high temperature and hence are constantly cooled down with water showers.
After proper soil testing, Dr. Bhatia entwines his agri erudition to the growth function by preparing a fertigation strategy depending on the requirements by the soil. During May 25 – June 10, after the seed treatment with Gaucho/Trichoderma, the fungicide (bavistin ) treated cocopeat is used for nursery for the proper nutritient feeding to the infant cauliflower saplings. Once the saplings are ready they are carefully sown in the special beds.
How Special are the sowing beds ?
The sowing beds are alleviated from the ground by 37.5 cm with base of 110 cm and 70 cm high to save the field from the monsoon showers which can inundate the field and invite infestation. Such kind of a bedding saves the plants from the water logging. Approx. 17000 plants/ acre are sown with the distance of about 40 cm between the two rows 30 cm between the two saplings which are placed in a zig zag row so as to cover the maximum space.
Since the plants are sown in rows, a weeder mounted on a high clearance tractor saves the cost of weedicide and the rest of the weeds around the plants are generally managed by the manual labours.
15,000 kg per acre of G4 agri’s cauliflower produce is sold in Haryana, Punjab, Uttrakhand, W. UP along with institutional sale stratergy.
India and Indian farmers are already producing in excess. In such a time, raising the benchmark of produce is not prudent, but availing of proper marketing strategies is. The brains working at G4 agri, lucidly explains, how important it is to consider the social, economic, environmental and market opportunities to treat farming as business. Before starting any agri business, proper market and investment study is the baby step that should be taught to the farmers of the country who are suffering more from price loses than diseases/any other problem.