Jayakumar of Mettur, Dindukul District proudly shares that he was only an ordinary farmer earlier and now he has become an entrepreneur with double the earnings in his farm, thanks to the innovative concept of ‘value addition’ to a product/service that one does. Jayakumar honestly feels with concern that those who depend on monsoon and his crops for good harvest and resultant return need not worry if they fail for one reason or the other; instead they can try and create value addition in some other manner which will compensate them monetarily. Likewise only, when he faced loss in the business of amla/gooseberry, he immediately tr ied with the business of its juice which proved to be profitable and successful. While he continues this business, he has now started selling the extract of black plum which also fetches him good business and return.
Jayakumar’s farm is on the Dindikul-Madurai highways near Kodai road at Mettur. He is already known to the readers of Pasumai Vikatan through his articles on this value addition method to earn more profits.
Starting with gooseberry:-
Jayakumar candidly says that he is an ardent follower of all the tips given in Pasumai Vikatan for the past nine years. He is in the practice of immediately implementing the tips in his farm. The series ‘Madhippu kootum mandiram’ (Value addition mantra)published in Pasumai Vikatan was the root cause for his success, particularly, the gooseberry juice which he launched through Indian Institute of Food Processing Technology(IIFPT) Thanjavur. Following this, he has started black plum juice also.
Demand for Black Plum in Tamil Nadu:-
Jayakumar studied the market and understood the demand for black plum in Tamil Nadu despite the fact that it was a seasonal fruit just for two months here. Soon he bought a crusher machine for Rs.2 L and brought it from Haryana. He extracted the juice and packed without any preservatives and sent them to organic stores for sales. He had a good response. Now he has customised the packing as 450 ml .and 700 ml. to suit the market requirements.
Jayakumar profusely thanks Pasumai Vikatan for having enlightened and motivated him to try the new concept of ‘value-addition’ to a product and creation of new market for consistent profit. Naturally he is so proud that he got an award from our most illustrious President Dr.A.P.J.Abdul Kalam for being the Best Value Addition Farmer.
Multiple effects of value-addition formula:-
Jayakumar says that the yield from the black plum trees would vary from season to season. While he got 4,000 kg.yield last year, he has got just 2,800 kg.only during this season. Depending on the moisture content available in the fruit, he will be able to get 700 to 900 ml.juice . Normally, the moisture content in his farm trees is considerably more and so also the juice output. He was able to obtain 2,100 lt.juice from 2,800 kg.fruits. He sold it @ Rs.350/- per litre, thus getting a total sum of Rs.7,35,000/-. Besides this, he was able to take out the nuts to the tune of 220 kg. which he ground and sold as powder.
In this process he was able to collect 90 kg.powder that he sold @ Rs.400/- per kilo. The amount he got from powder was Rs.36,000/- and the overall total amount was Rs.7,71,000/-. The point to be noted here is that he got a profit of Rs.5,25,000/- from selling 4,000 kg.black plum as fruits last year, but whereas this year he has got almost the same Rs.5 L as profit from selling 2,800 kg. only as a value added product. Precisely, this is the effect of value-addition exercise as a strategy.
Jayakumar said and did practically!
Pasumai Vikatan dated 25.06.2014 carried a cover story under the title, “In one acre – Rs. 5 L profit from Black Plum fruit”. In his article, Jayakumar had stated that he was planning not to sell the fruits as it is but with added values and as different products from the same base of plum fruits and earn 5 L profit at the end. Not only did he say it in his write-up but also he achieved it in reality.
Calcium, phosphorous, iron, vitamin B etc. are rich in black plum. It will purify the blood and increase the iron content in blood. The hardness in the blood will be removed and the chemical substance will get eliminated through urination. It will also reduce the sugar content in the blood and hence those who have insulin related problem can very well use this.
Maintenance of black plum trees:-
It is better to sow this during rainy season. This does not require any specific soil. This will rather grow in any type of soil. In 5 years’ time it will become ready for harvest; however, it will take 8 to 10 years to become commercially viable. While harvesting this, care must be taken to ensure that the fruit does not get damaged in any manner. Very potent fruits will be intact. As they grow under organic farming, the taste and quality of the fruits will be of high degree.
Novel trees are of different varieties such as Kodi novel, Kuzhi novel, Jumbu novel and Nattu novel. Some would taste sweet while others sour. These trees are available in plenty in the areas of Palamedu, Chathirapatti, Azhagarkoil and other parts in Madurai district closer to the hills.
Role of IIFPT:-
The Indian Institute of Food Processing Technology (IICIP) is located at Thanjavur. They offer specific training courses on the concept of value-addition to such products like Black Plum, Amla, Lime, Pomegranate, Pine apple, Tomoto, Kovakkai etc. They have been offering regular training sessions on payment basis and help the farmers to learn alternatives instead of depending on only one main item with its own other constraints.
As a pioneer of this value addition formula, Jayakumar’s initiative based on Pasumai Vikatan as well as contribution to the farmers’ community are worth emulating.
(This article originally written in Tamil by Durai.Nagarajan for Pasumai Vikatan has been reproduced in English by P S Ramamurthy)