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A brief list of DOs & DONTs in Organic Farming / Informal session for entrepreneurship –
Mr. Kiran Bhaskaran, an MBA by education and an Organic Farmer, Organic Farming Consultant & Student by passion has been an active consultant for the past 9 years in the field of Organic Food, Farming and Sustainable Agriculture Practices.
He holds wide experience in designing and developing Indigenous Food and Fruit Forests, Integrated Farm Systems, Unique & Customized Training & School Gardening Curricula.
Although it is hard to standardize costs in agriculture as the production costs are variable from place to place (For eg., Agri labor cost in Kerala is different from that of HP). However, roughly speaking 100% organically certified vegetable farm in a 1.5-acre land, within 30-minute distance from its consumer, with organic inputs (compost, pest repellent, growth promoters) produced within the farm should cost about 3 lakhs. While providing a return of upwards of 4 lakhs based on the business model.
A 2500 sq.ft. land can produce at least 30 kgs of 10 different kinds of vegetables per month; whereas 1 acre of land – once organic and sustainable, can produce at least 5 tons of 15 different kinds of vegetables in a year.
An Organic farm once under certification may take up to 3 years to attain 100% organic status, however, in case of a ready customer base who trust your products to be organic, you may start earning good profits from the first crop cycle itself. Again, the conditions in the 1st FAQ are applicable.
The horticultural crops end up attracting a good amount of subsidy generally; The irrigation system (Drip Irrigation) ends up fetching you between 40% to 90% of the total cost in subsidy depending on the State/Region the land is in.
Soil tests and water tests are conducted by Krishi Kendra at nominal rates. Agro-forestry saplings also are provided by the forest nurseries at a nominal price and so do the organic certification permitted natural soil amendments such as Neem cake, Gypsum salt, Lime, Rock Phosphate etc which are provided by Govt. Krishi Kendra at heavily subsidized rates.
Please contact your nearby Govt. Krishi Kendra and discuss your project with the agri-scientist to explore more.
Value Added Products such as Pickles, Dried Vegetables & Herbs, Chutneys can be considered.
In addition to, organic inputs (pest repellent, growth promoters, and compost) produced internally can be marketed to home gardeners/indoor gardeners as well.
Many agri-business can be set up as a source of secondary income in an organic farm such as Vermicompost, Apiculture (Bee Keeping) Mushroom Farming etc.
While Vermicompost aids in organic agriculture, Organic Honey production and Mushroom can broaden/boost the product portfolio of your organic farm