1. Success Story

Pearl Farming: Couple Teaches How to Grow Pearls in Home-Made Ponds & Limited Space

M Kanika
M Kanika
Shells with Pearls
Shells with Pearls

Ashok Manwani and his wife, Kulanjan Dubey Manwani, met in 2003 because of their shared passion for pearls and their cultivation. The couple met for the first time during an event devoted to learning about pearl cultivation. For this pair, the rest is, as they say, HISTORY. 

The couple focused on inventing numerous pearl cultivation techniques and even instruments.

They have demonstrated that pearls may be found not only in salty water but also in freshwater sources such as rivers and ponds in towns and cities, thanks to their research. "We invented instruments like the mussel opener and wooden mussel stand to nurture designer pearls, which seem to be rather prevalent today," explains Ashok. They say that the novelty of these gadgets is that they do not cause the oysters to die. They are very gentle instruments, and the low cost of the tools is another reason why so many people have taken up pearl farming.

This Couple Cultivated Pearls in 12 States

The pair has cultivated pearls in 12 states other than Maharashtra during the previous two decades. They've held awareness campaigns and programs in places like Karnataka, Kerala, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, Manipur, Meghalaya, and Assam. "Whenever possible, we attempt to collaborate with state departments." "We've noticed that most farmers turn to their state agriculture agencies for help," adds Kulanjan. 

They also founded Indian Pearl Growing in 2001 with the express purpose of training as many people as possible to participate in pearl cultivation. "For us, the excitement of seeing that pearl at the end of all the hard labor is inspiring," Kulanjan explains. We're not in it for the money; instead, we want to see India become a center for high-quality pearls. It is conceivable for us to meet that goal, even if it means it will take place after our lifetime." 

While most people can only get two pearls out of a shell, Ashok claims that the technique they've created can get up to six pearls out of a single shell.

"State governments are now sharing this technology to other farms," he adds.” He also advises anyone interested in studying to only attend government-approved centers rather than paying a high fee to learn at private centers”.

You can even Grow Pearls in Home-Made Ponds or Limited Space

A farmer with a limited area (in a homemade pond) can get started with pearl farming with roughly 1,000 sq ft of space, which can accommodate up to 2,000 shells. "You can comfortably fit two shells in one square foot." The water should be light green in color, and it is recommended that spirulina, which is considered a superfood for animals, be added to it. "The vitamins in spirulina are quite beneficial for healthy growth," Kulanjan explains.

The couple is also a believer in adopting organic goods to boost the water's nutrient content. 

The price varies per state, according to Kulanjan: "In Maharashtra, each shell would cost you between Rs 30- Rs 40, while in Karnataka; it will cost you at least Rs 50 per shell." The average cost of producing two pearls is Rs 60, and if the quality is good and certified, you can earn up to Rs 500 per pearl, if not more. "There have been cases where a single pearl has sold for Rs 12 lakhs," Ashok adds. 

Avail Government Support to Encourage Pearl Cultivation

If someone wants to start pearl farming by building a pond in their backyard or using space in their home, the total set-up will cost roughly Rs 25 lakhs. The government, on the other hand, is giving farmers a subsidy of Rs 12.5 lakhs in an attempt to stimulate pearl cultivation.

The couple has performed over 400 training sessions and workshops for various state governments across the country, and they have received numerous awards, including eight national and over 70 other awards. They also received the first progressive farmer award from the Central Institute of Freshwater Aquaculture (CIFA). 

"My objective is to see that even the poorest of farmers may gain from pearl cultivation," says Ashok, who has no interest in running this as a commercial venture. It's a terrific way to supplement one's income and can be done in addition to whatever one's main source of income is."

To Reach Ashok & Kulanjan

Call at: +91-9860661174 or Email via:indianpearlculture@yahoo.com  

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