Vanilla Cultivation under Shade Net (Karnataka)

                                                                           

Introduction


Vanilla is a tropical orchid, cultivated for its pleasant flavour, which is one of the costliest spices in the international market. Though more than 50 species of vanilla exist, only three are important as sources of vanillin. Vanilla planifolia Andrews is the most preferred commercially and therefore, cultivated widely.

The Indian farmers started vanilla cultivation in the mid- to late 1990s, prompted, mainly by the falling profits from rubber and coffee. Besides, vanilla could be grown even on small plots of land and the initial investment required is small. Today, India stands sixth among the world's eight vanilla-exporting nations, up from eighth in 1998. In 1998, India contributed just 0.034 percent of world vanilla exports. Indian exports of vanilla multiplied rapidly thereafter and by 2002, it accounted for 1.86 percent of world vanilla exports. Between 1998 and 2002, India's vanilla exports registered a phenomenal annual average growth rate of 139.68 percent. In 1997, a kilogram of green vanilla beans earned US $3. During 2003, The Indian traders were paying more than $70 for a kilogram of vanilla beans.

Karnataka leads in the country's vanilla cultivation followed by Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Sixty percent of the 1,000 hectares under vanilla cultivation in India, is in Karnataka.

In the Western Ghat zone in the State comprising of Kodagu, Chikmagalore, Shimoga, Hassan, Dakshina Kannada and Udupi districts, which are having the typical tropical condition, the farmers are resorting to cultivation of the crop as mixed crop in the existing coconut/ arecanut/ coffee gardens. The main crop provides the requisite shade conditions and also the support for the vines. However, of late, enthused by the high prices and income derived by the vanilla growers, farmers from other districts are also coming forward for cultivating vanilla under controlled conditions. As Vanilla is a tropical orchid crop requiring high humidity, shade and moderate temperatures, the demand for cultivating vanilla in shade houses fitted with micro-sprinklers for creating the requisite micro-climate, is increasing.

Botany of the crop

Vanilla planifolia is a fleshy perennial orchid, climbing up trees or other supports by means of aerial adventitious roots. Stem is succulent and has inter-nodes at 5-15 cm. Flowers are borne in inflorescence. Up to 20-30 flowers come in a bunch. Since self-pollination by natural means is not possible in India, artificial pollination is carried out to effect fertilization and fruit set.

Technical Requirements

Soil and Climate

Traditionally, Vanilla requires warm and moist conditions with well distributed rainfall of 150 to 300 cm with a temperature range of 25 to 32oC. It comes up well from sea level to around 1500M above MSL. The crop requires more than 50% shade and thrives best under filtered light. Considering these conditions, in non-traditional districts, Vanilla can be cultivated in shade houses, fitted with micro sprinklers / foggers.

Vanilla comes up well in loose and friable soil with very high organic matter content and of loamy texture. It prefers land with gentle slope and well-drained soils.

Planting material

The crop is usually established by planting in situ shoot cuttings each, preferably having 8 to 10 inter nodes as these flower earlier than the shorter cuttings. However, the cuttings with less than five to six inter nodes and 60 cm in length should not be used directly for planting. Such shorter cuttings properly rooted in the nursery, establish well in the field, compared to the stem-cuttings. Micro- propagated plants can also be used for planting. Vanilla is propagated mainly by shoot cuttings or rooted cuttings. Strong, healthy and actively growing vines are selected, cut into pieces of one meter long with three or four leaves removed from the bottom. The cuttings are kept in a shady place for one week. Alternatively, 3-4 noded rooted cuttings are also used for planting.

Creation of micro-climate

For optimum growth of these plants, a controlled environment is created by establishing suitable green-house/ shade net house which provides the appropriate amount of light, temperature and humidity which are essential for commercial production of vanilla. HDPE net providing 50-60% shade can be supported with stone pillars of 12 height to provide the required shade. Micro-sprinklers with both irrigation and misting/ fogging facility need to be installed in the shade house, which will ensure the irrigation as well as humidity requirements.

Planting

Vanilla is planted in a medium rich in organic matter. Decomposed organic manure/ vermi-compost is filled in the trenches made at a spacing of 8. In these trenches, support pillars of 7 long will be placed at a spacing of 6, and two cuttings each, will be planted around one support pole. The plant density per acre thus works out to 2400. The wines are trained on GI wires tied between the support pillars at a height of 5.

Aftercare

The main source of nutrients for the crop is from organic sources viz., decomposed leaf mould or dry /decomposed FYM/ vermi-compost. A thick layer of organic debris also helps to retain enough moisture and gives a loose soil structure for the roots to spread. Hence, it is important that easily decomposable organic matter is applied around the plant base at least 3-4 times in a year. Besides, the Spices Board recommends spraying one per cent 17:17:17 NPK to give a full coverage of the foliage and stem to enhance the growth of the vines. Presently, farmers are getting very good response in growth and yield by spraying vermi-wash to the foliage.

 

Flowering and Pollination

The flowering commences from the 3rd year after planting, during January - February months. Moisture stress for about one month i.e., irrigation is stopped during the month of December and the tips of the vines are pruned. These operations induce flowering in the plant and once 10% of the flowers appear, copious irrigation is given to induce profuse flowering.

Self-pollination by natural means is not possible in our country due to the absence of specific pollinating agents. Artificial pollination is carried out by hand with the help of a pointed bamboo splinter, a stiff grass or a sharpened toothpick to get fruit set. The ideal time for pollination is 7 am to 12 p.m. On an average, a skilled worker can pollinate 1200-2000 flowers a day. It is ideal to pollinate only the first formed 8-10 flowers on the lower side of the inflorescence. It is also recommended to maintain only 10-12 inflorescences per vine in order to get beans with maximum length and girth and of high quality standards. Generally, one flower in an inflorescence opens in a day. The flowering is spread over a period of 3 weeks.

Harvesting and Processing

After pollination and fertilization, the beans develop very quickly and obtain full size in about 5-6 weeks but it takes 9-11 months for the same to mature. Around 75-90 mature beans make one kilogram. The beans are harvested when the distal end turns pale yellow in colour. The aroma and flavour develops only after the curing process. The different stages of curing include Killing (by dipping the beans in hot water at 63-65oC for 3 minutes, Sweating (through exposure to sunlight for 1-1 1/2 hours by spreading them on a raised platform every day for 5-7 days); Drying (by keeping the beans spread on racks in an airy room for up to 30 days) and Conditioning (keeping the dried beans bundled and covered in butter paper, in wooden boxes for about 2-3 months).

 

Marketing

The green /cured beans from Karnataka are mostly purchased by three Companies in Kerala viz., M/s A V T Mc Cormick Ingredients Ltd, M/s Synthite Industrial Chemicals and M/s Cadilla Pharmaceuticals. The Companies come and purchase the beans from the production centres after announcing the dates for procurement. The farmers harvest their produce accordingly and bring it to a common centre. The Vanilla Trust and other farmers negotiate the price and fix up a minimum procurement price for the season.

 

Forward and Backward Linkages

The Spices Board and the Department of Horticulture, Govt. of Karnataka, have got a well- defined extension net work in all the three districts. In case of new gardens, planting materials will be available from the nurseries maintained by the Spices Board / Dept of Horticulture/ private nurseries. In case of area expansion, enough materials will be available from the existing vanillary itself. The other raw material like compost is also available in the project area. Most of the vanilla growers are going in for vermi-composting in the project area so as to ensure adequate supply. The Department of Horticulture and Spices Board conduct programmes for training farmers in artificial pollination. Marketing of the green/ cured beans is also not a problem. As there is a growing demand in the international market for supply of natural vanillin, no problem is foreseen in marketing the produce also.

 

Unit cost

The indicative cost of cultivation of Vanilla as a pure crop under shade house with irrigation facilities like micro-sprinklers has been worked out for a unit size of 1 acre. While working out the cost, it is presumed that irrigation facilities like source of water and lifting devices are available with the promoter. The cost details are indicated in the following table:

Year

Cost/ acre (Rs)

 

1 acre model

1st

5,15,700

2nd

53,700

3rd

59700

Total

6,29,100

Mature maintenance cost from 4th year

65,000

 

The details of the cost are indicated in Annexure I. However, the unit cost varies from state to state. The cost presented here is indicative only. The entrepreneurs and the bankers are requested to consult our Regional Offices for the latest information in this regard.

 

Yield and sale price:

Yield:

Year

Yield ( green) g/plant

3rd

250

4th

500

5th

750

6-15th

1000

 

Sale price :

The price of fresh vanilla beans in the market is in the range of Rs 3000-3500/ kg. However, for working out the economics, we have assumed a price of Rs 500 /kg of green pods.

 

 

 

 

Financial Analysis : Results of financial analysis are indicated below :

 

NPW at 15% DF : Rs.978266 (+)

BCR at 15% DF : 2.85 : 1.00

IRR : 64.15%

 

Detailed analysis is presented in Annexure II.

 

 

Margin Money : The margin money assumed in this model scheme is 20% of the total financial outlay.

 

Interest Rate : Interest rate may be decided by the banks as per the guidelines of RBI. A rate of 12% per annum is considered for this model.

Security : Banks may charge security as permissible under RBI guidelines.

 

Repayment schedule

Assuming that 50% of the net income is used for payment of interest and repayment of principal, the loan can be serviced within a period of five years with an initial moratorium period of two years. The details are indicated as Annexure III.

 

Conclusion

Cultivation of Vanilla in shade houses with a unit holding size of 1 acre is technically feasible, financially viable and bankable.

 

Annexure I (a)

 

Cultivation of Vanilla in Shade house - Model Project

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unit Area

1 acre

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spacing between supporting pillars

8' x 6'

 

 

 

 

 

 

No. of plants trailing on one pole

2

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total plant population

2400

 

 

 

 

 

 

Item wise cost capitalized

 

(Amt in Rs) 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Year I

Year II

Year III

Total

 

 

Qty

Rate

 

 

 

 

1

Land Development

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Land clearing/ levelling etc

LS

 

10000

 

 

10000

2

Construction of shade house

 

 

 

 

 

 

a

Shade net (50% shade)- sqm

4200

19

79800

 

 

79800

b

Stone pillars (12', 8",4")

200

220

44000

 

 

44000

c

Charges for fixing of pillars

200

20

4000

 

 

4000

d

Charges for erection of shade net-sqm

4000

3

12000

 

 

12000

3

Irrigation structures

 

 

 

 

 

 

b

Irrigation equipments

LS

 

30000

 

 

30000

c

Misc equipments

LS

 

5000

 

 

5000

4

Erection of support system

 

 

 

 

 

 

a

Stone pillars (7',4",4")

1200

65

78000

 

 

78000

b

GI wire for trailing of vines

LS

 

10000

 

 

 

c

Erection charges

1200

10

12000

 

 

12000

5

Cost of planting materials

2400

60

144000

 

 

144000

6

Cost of cultivation till bearing stage

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cost of FYM (tons)

15

1000

15000

 

 

15000

 

Vermi-compost

10

4000

40000

 

 

40000

 

Top dressing

 

 

 

5000

5000

10000

 

Foliar spray

LS

 

5000

10000

10000

25000

 

Cost of irrigation(Rs 1500 per month)

 

 

16500

16500

16500

49500

 

Labour charges

 

 

20400

22200

28200

70800

 

Total capital cost

 

 

515700

53700

59700

629100


 

Annexure 1(b) (Vanilla)

Labour Requirement

 

 

 

Year

 

 

 

 

 

 

1

2

3

 

 

 

 

Labour requirement

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Casual labourers (No.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Application of manure's & fertiliser/ PP chemicals;training / pruning of vines

40

40

40

 

 

 

 

Artificial pollination

 

30

100

 

 

 

 

Harvesting, grading etc.

 

 

30

 

 

 

 

Total labour days (No.)

40

70

170

 

 

 

 

Labour charges @ Rs 60 /manday (Rs.)

2400

4200

10200

 

 

 

 

Permanent labourer - 1 no. @Rs 1500/month

18000

18000

18000

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

Annexure II

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Financial Analysis (Vanilla)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Years------------>

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1

2

3

Total

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total Cost capitalized (Rs)

515700

53700

59700

629100

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No of plants per unit area

2400

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rate per kg of green beans (Rs)

500

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Economics

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Years

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Details

1

2

3

4

5

6..15

 

 

 

 

 

Income

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yield of fresh beans per vine (kg)

 

 

0.250

0.500

0.750

1.000

 

 

 

 

 

Total yield per acre (kg)

 

 

600

1200

1800

2400

 

 

 

 

 

Income (Rs) @ 500/kg

 

 

300000

600000

900000

1200000

 

 

 

 

 

Maintenance Expenses (Rs)

 

 

 

65000

65000

65000

 

 

 

 

 

Net Income (Rs)

 

 

300000

535000

835000

1135000

 

 

 

 

 

IRR & B C Ratio

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cost

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Capital cost (Rs)

515700

53700

59700

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recurring expenditure (Rs)

 

 

 

65000

65000

65000

 

 

 

 

 

Total expenditure (Rs)

515700

53700

59700

65000

65000

65000

 

 

 

 

 

Benefit (Rs)

0

0

300000

600000

900000

1200000

 

 

 

 

 

Net benefit

-515700

-53700

240300

535000

835000

1135000

1135000

1135000

1135000

1135000

 

B C Ratio

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PW of Costs at 15% DF

528293

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PW of Benefits at 15% DF

1506559

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

B C Ratio

2.852

1:

2.852

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IRR

64.15%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Annexure III

 

 

 

 

 

Repayment Schedule (In Rupees) for Vanilla

 

 

 

 

 

 

Years----->

 

 

 

(Amt. Rs.) 

 

 

 

 

1

2

3

 

 

 

 

 

Total Financial Outlay

515700

53700

59700

 

 

 

 

 

Margin money (20%)

103140

10740

11940

 

 

 

 

 

Bank Loan

412560

42960

47760

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ROI

12%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Amt Rs)

 

 

 

Year

Bank Loan

 

 

Repayment

Net Income

 

 

 

Disbursed

Outstanding

Total

Interest

Principal

Total

 

 

 

1

412560

0

412560

49507

0

49507

 

 

 

2

42960

412560

455520

54662

0

54662

 

 

 

3

47760

455520

503280

60394

89606

150000

300000

 

 

4

0

413674

413674

49641

217859

267500

535000

 

 

5

0

195814

195814

23498

195814

219312

835000

 

 

The loan can be repaid in 5 years with a grace period of 2 years.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

50% of Net Income is considered for payment of principal and interest