Growing saffron in a container farm

Software engineer Shailesh Modak from Pune came up with a unique business idea that couples hydroponics and his love for nature. 

Though well-settled in the corporate world, Shailesh was intent on doing something that enabled him to follow his passion for agriculture. However, he knew of the uncertainties that came with the field. 

“The biggest problem with agriculture is that there is too much reliance on climate and weather. With drastic changes in climate due to global warming, the crops would fail,” he notes. This was when Shailesh stumbled upon the idea of hydroponics through research. 

He decided to focus on a unique crop, saffron, which, at the time, was only grown in certain parts of India. Today, Shailesh’s venture focuses on saffron grown in shipping containers.

The containers are insulated and measure 8 by 40 feet, comprising all the systems that are needed for farming from seed to final harvest. What is amazing is that the amount Shailesh reaps from a 160 square feet area of saffron is the same as what one could get from half an acre of land. 

The sales too are good. While Shailesh was able to grow 875 grams in the first batch, he sold this at Rs 500 per gram. The venture clocks a revenue of Rs 5 lakh. 

Source: The Better India 

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