We are developing fruits and vegetables saplings, using Hi-Tech nursery management techniques. Also experimenting with hydroponics and vertical farming systems.
Plants are developed in coco-peat using the capillary enhancement technique. I am using all international techniques applicable in nursery management for developing the plants. We use small trays for the vegetable saplings while growing bags for fruit saplings. All these plants are suitable for open field cultivation. In our Ratlam district, farmers were struggling to develop the fruits and vegetables saplings on their own. Therefore to provide them access to good quality saplings, we started the nursery. We have developed Thai apple, and ber, guava, grapes, strawberry, tomato, chili and lemon are few of the most popular saplings of the nursery. It is located at Riyawan village, Ratlam district, Madhya Pradesh.
Other than running the nursery, I have an Agri Clinic and fruits orchard. Our fruit orchard is actually dedicated for agri experiments. We have grape vines and Thai fruits guava , apple ber and fig trees. Farmers when visit our farm always asked for saplings, hence it was another reason that we started the nursery.
Saplings are always in stock as the buying pattern of farmers is well understood by us. We receive many walk-in farmers who are interested to buy and carry the plants with them immediately. The percentage of farmers giving order in advance is moderate, so we develop the plants in excess. For rest, we maintain a constant touch with farmers through WhatsApp.
Price depends on quantity required, mother plants’ cost and demand. Sharing the example we would like to clarify, “Mother plant of strawberry is sourced from California, Itly, and the USA. This year it was quite taxing to procure the mother plants; hence the cost has increased to Rs. 13-14/- per sapling from last year pricing of Rs. 6-7/- per piece. So the price always varies.”
We are growing different fruits at our farm and this year we started fig cultivation using Thailand technique. It implies growing small size fig plants in green house cultivation or open field. The plant size is controlled at 3-4 feet and pruning is done meticulously. Distance between plant-plant is also maintained very less. Fig is a super plant that grows well even in a grow bag and yields reasonable amount of figs. Mother plant of fig has been bought from Pune, Maharashtra. This fig variety is being grown in India for couple of years and it is responding really well to the Indian soil.
In time to come, I wants to focus on strawberry cultivation in soilless medium. For this, I visited Israel last 2015 . There I saw strawberries grown hydroponically. It drew my attention and I am replicating the same in our region in my own set-up. When asked about the high investment cost it can be stated that Hydroponic infrastructure suppliers have created a notion of premium-investment to sell their products and services in India. Conversely, hydroponic technique as such a simple one to understand if executed with Indian intelligence; it can be done at much lower cost! I am developing the entire hydroponic infrastructure on my own. I am confident my set up will work perfectly.
In addition, when in Israel I was very much attracted towards vertical farming. It is an extremely cost effective technique as the water and fertilizer use is precise. The precision farming in vertical set up is amazing. I am working to create a perfect functional blend between hydroponic and vertical farming.
In conclusion, I want to try out many new things in farming so that it can fetch good returns for all the farmers. Moreover, I am personally very much involved in all my agri activities because unless I get the expertise I cannot direct and lead my team. Being with plants is my passion, but I want to make it very interesting using latest technologies.
~Dhakad Hi-Tech Nursery & Hydroponic Lab,
Farm address: Riyawan Village, Ratlam District, Madhya Pradesh
Correspondence: Malwa Krishi Seva Kendra, New Dhan Mandi Road, Jaora, Ratlam District, Madhya Pradesh