Prateek Bajaj a 26 years old youth from Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh is graduated in Commerce who received the training in entrepreneurship development from Krishi Vigyan Kendra, IVRI Izatnagar in 2015. This training led him towards professionalism in vermicompost entrepreneurship.
Mr. Prateek used to visit KVK-IVRI post-training also and had regular interaction with the subject matter specialist about the vermicompost. He had collected lot of information about vermicompost from the KVK, Internet, other farmers which took almost 3.5 months initially to start vermicompost unit as an enterprise. He has also joined the WhatsApp group of KVK-IVRI and kept on posting his queries and experiences of vermicompost enterprise.His
Intially, he built vermicompost bed of 10x3 feet width with 1 feet height using moisture absorbing bricks in a sheded area. The vermicompost bed were filled with 10 quintals of dung and added 8 kg of Eisenia foetida species of earthworm, which he bought @ Rs. 200/kg from KVK-IVRI, Izatnagar. About 40-50% moisture and a temperature of 20–300 C (thermometer was placed in each beds) is maintained in each bed. He got his first vermicompost in 90 days from his unit. Two methods of vermicomposting, i.e. Rhino Vermi Bed and Matka methods, he is following. Rhino vermicompost beds are made up of Polyethylene Net Window with One Netted Outlet at the bottom of the bed. After using rhino beds for vermicomposting he found this method better in comparison to the floor method. Since, this method retains the moisture for longer time which saves the time and manpower in sprinkling the water. He has also experimented vermiwash preparation by bucket method, separately. In a year, he has collected 50 litres of vermiwash which he has sold @Rs. 250/ litre.
According to him, making the vermicompost in Matka (an earthen pot), provides perfect darkness inside Matka and fine quality of vermicompost are made. This method maintains the appropriate level of moisture required for the growth of earthworms. In this experiment, he filled up one Matka with 10 kg of mud press and added 300-400g of earthworms. After 45-60 days he got very fine vermicompost which even not needed sieving/filtration, he is planning to follow this method on large scale.
Initially, he had started vermicomposting with the three beds of 30x2 feet each in which 10 quintals of dung and 10 kg of earthworm were used in each bed. Further, an expenditure of Rs. 700/- was incurred on miscellaneous item. In return , he got 6.5 quintal of vermicompost, 17 kg of earthworm in a period of 2.5 months from one bed. Thus, from all the three beds he got 26 quintals of vermi-compost and 68 kg of earthworm which he had sold @ Rs. 5/kg and Rs. 200/kg respectively. He earned Rs. 41,600.00 from this enterprise which was started after his first trial. All the operation in this unit was performed by himself to learn, upgrade the skill and to gain the confidence. Initially, he sale his vermicompost by the trade name of “YE-LO KHAAD” which he has popularized by putting the sale counter at various place and during farmers fair. During 2016-17, he sold 1000 quintals of vermicompost from his entrepreneurial unit.
Experiencing the prospects, potentials and economic viability, he has expanded (in March, 2017) , his vermicompost enterprise in seven bigha of land in Pardholi village, close to a national highway, in Bareilly district. He has constructed 20 vermicompost bed of 30x4x1.6 feet size. In last six month (March to August 2017) he has produced 400 quintals of vermicompost and sold out by his new firm name i.e., Sahyogi Biotech. He is getting the new vermicompost after every 1.5 months from each of the vermicompost bed. He has also added Neem leaves in vermicompost to make it more beneficial and an innovative product. He is selling the vermicompost in packing of 40kg @ Rs. 650/bag and in packing of one kg@ Rs. 20/kg for the plant nurseries, plant/gardening lover for using in flower pots. The cost of 1 kg pack involved home delivery also. He is selling the vermiculture @ Rs. 180/kg. He has strengthened his enterprise by purchasing balance machine, packing machine , sewing machine etc. He has hired 03 non-skill labour ( salary @ Rs. 800/month) for the farm operations and 02 marketing person ( salary Rs. 10,000/month) who are popularizing the product in residential colony, schools and plant nurseries by putting the exhibition of the products. He has trained so far 11 youths belonged to Uttar Pradesh, Uttrakhand and Delhi. Generally, he conduct the commercial training for two days and fee is @ Rs. 4500 /training, whereas consultancy/training to the farmers is provided free of cost. He has guided and motivated many farmers for adoption of vermicompost technology in their farm and in preparation of the vermicompost. Time to time, he delivers his lecture at KVK-IVRI itself for the rural youth to attract and retain them in agriculture.
Mr. Prateek Bajaj has all qualities of an entrepreneur at such a young age and in short period of time, he has achieved a marvelous success in vermicompost enterprise. He has a plan to start 15 more vermicompost beds of 30x4x1.6 feet size during this year.