In the last few articles, we discussed the practices of pearl cultivation. One of the most progressive farmers of the country, Ashok Manwani and Kulanjan Dubey Manwani shared their wisdom of pearl cultivation. Pearls are precious, biological gems having smooth, lustrous and variously coloured deposits (nacre) around a grain of sand or other foreign particles in the shells of certain marine oysters and freshwater mussels. The nacreous deposit is composed of 82-86% calcium carbonate (aragonite crystals), 2-4% water and 10-14% organic substance conchiolin, which impart shining to the pearls.
Being a profitable business, the risks involved in this cultivation are huge and many. And govt. provides subsidies and incentives for this farming. Pearls are precious, biological gems having smooth, lustrous and variously coloured deposits (nacre) around a grain of sand or other foreign particles in the shells of certain marine oysters and freshwater mussels. The nacreous deposit is composed of 82-86% calcium carbonate (aragonite crystals), 2-4% water and 10-14% organic substance conchiolin, which impart shining to the pearls.
For millennia, pearl have fascinated humanity around the world. In ancient times, the demand was met by natural production. However, to meet the rising demand of pearls in the modern world, entrepreneurs and researchers resorted production of pearls by culturing pearl producing oysters and mussels.The project aims at establishing pearl culture given the high potential of raw material availability and local market demand.
Why to consider growing pearls :
Pearls from India are known and admired all over the world as the finest of ‘Oriental Pearls’ and have been in high demand. However natural pearl resources in India as in other parts of the world have depleted and pearl fishery was stopped in India about four decades ago. There is a huge gap between production and demand and the only option left is culture of pearls.
► The biological parameters need to be checked before initiation of pearl culture including water quality, water source, water depth, substratum type, nutrient load, temperature and superior quality of recipient as well as donor mussels.
► Site selection has to be convenient for operational activities.
► Mussels collected from the wild are ideal, however pathological parameters of the indoor produced animals need attention prior to selection.
► Pearl culture demands various ancillary activities that require appropriate attentions viz. mussel collection, implantation, nucleus preparation, culture unit fabrication, farm management and harvesting.
► The product should have a steady market avenue for better remuneration.
► Large pearls have superior value.
Unit Cost :
As per actual with a ceiling of INR 25 lakh per project.
Central financial assistance :
(a) 50% of the unit cost with a ceiling of INR 12.50 lakh per project in General States/UTs.
(b) 80% of the unit cost with a ceiling of INR 20 lakh per project in North Eastern and Himalayan States. (c) 100% of the unit cost with a ceiling of INR 25 lakh per project to UT Administrations, ICAR/ other Central Government Institutes.
Terms and Conditions
(a) The applicant shall obtain necessary prior permissions from the concerned State/UT Government and other Competent Authorities for installation of pearl culture rafts.
(b) Fishermen Cooperative Societies, SC/ST Cooperative Societies, Women Self Help Groups, Registered Companies of Private Entrepreneurs etc. shall be eligible for central assistance for one project each group at suitable sites/locations.
(c) The unit cost includes capital, operational and maintenance costs on one time basis
(d) The applicants shall be required to submit self contained project proposals together with documentary evidence of necessary permissions and technical know how to avail of the assistance.
(e) The proposals shall be routed through the concerned State Govt./UT