Success in spite of adverse conditions
Sambhajirao started cultivating Aloe Vera in 1998 and it was an instant success. He had a good run at it, but he had not given any serious thought about marketing of his production. He did not have much information about where to send the agro-product. Somebody had promised to buy the whole lot, but the deal fell through. An officer provided assistance, and gave the address of a company in Pune. Sambhajirao went to the company and informed the owner that he had aloe grown in his farm. The company bought it at three rupees per kg. As it was good quality aloe, he started supplying it to other processing businesses. This went on for five to six years. The average rate he received was five rupees per kg. The net yearly income was about Rs. one lakh from the arable land and about Rs. 2 to 2.50 lakh from the irrigated land.
Sambhajirao Borade from Shegaon, Taluka Jat has twelve acres of farmland. Of these, aloe is grown in as many as ten acres. Once planted, aloe cannot be harvested for two years, which is how long it takes to completely ripen. One sprout can grow leaves continuously for five to six years. Aloe is grown in five acres of irrigated land, and the remaining arable land is also used for aloe cultivation. In the irrigated land, water is supplied via sprinklers in two acres, drip irrigation in one acre, while the rest of the land undergoes conventional flood irrigation. This area is supplied water after every fifteen days. Plants are set at a distance of two feet by two feet, and about eleven thousand plants are grown per acre. Aloe is not very disease-prone. However, it needs to be protected from animals.
The beginning of his own production in 2007
Sambhajirao decided to start his own processing business, instead of supplying the aloe produced in his farm to other companies. The raw materials were no problem. So, he established a small business in 2007. To start with, he installed sufficient equipment to produce 200 litres of juice per day. For the equipment, he took a loan of Rs. 24 lakh. Out of this, a subsidy of Rs. 10 lakh was received from the government scheme. The juice production is going smoothly till today.
About aloe juice production, in short
When the crop is ready, leaves weighing half a kg to one kg are cut by a knife. These are collected and washed clean in water. The white part that is not required is removed. The fleshy part is separated from the green part. Juice is produced with the help of a machine. It is heated to a certain temperature, and is allowed to cool naturally. This is followed by the preservation process. The juice is packed in bottles by weight. Labels having information about the packing, expiry date, ingredients etc. are stuck on the bottles. Samples are sent to a laboratory for analysis according to lots. The juice is then sold after receiving the analysis report.
Capturing a market for his products
Various agricultural exhibitions held in the state proved to be the right medium for Sambhajirao to market his aloe juice, and he gained several loyal consumers from these. Currently, his products are sent to Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur, Hyderabad, Vishakhapattanam, Goa etc. Goods are sent promptly by courier and S.T. parcel service when the customer deposits money into the bank. The juice is sold in Ayurvedic product shops, medical stores, various bazaars etc. Products are also sold online. The products are sent promptly once the required money is deposited into the bank.
“Success through the processing business in a drought-prone region”
“For fifteen years in a row, Sambhajirao Dhondiram Borade cultivated the medicinal plant of Korfad (aloe) on as many as ten acres of farmland in the drought-prone Taluka of Jat, in the Sangli district. Instead of just sticking with production, he went one step further and processed it to produce aloe juice. It is sold in Maharashtra as well in other states. In addition, he also started producing juices of amla, bitter gourd (karle) and rose-apple (jambhul). The journey of Sambhajirao Dhondiram Borade (age 55 years) from Shegaon village, Taluka Jat from a farmer to a businessman is inspiring. Sambhajirao, who has had formal education only up to the tenth standard, has earned accolades for his products.”-Rajkumar Chougule
Rates of Aloe juice
- 1 litre – Rs. 500
- 0.50 litre – Rs. 275
- 250 ml – Rs. 150
- A twenty per cent discount is given if the products are required by direct consumers
- In addition to aloe juice, juices of amla, bitter gourd (karle), rose-apple (jambhul) are also produced (the raw materials for these, are purchased from the Vashi market as needed).
- Bitter gourd is home-grown. Its juice rate is Rs. 125 to 140 for 500 ml.
- Net profit of about 20 per cent is earned after deducting all expenses.
- As six family members are engaged in the business, labour charges are reduced.
The Borade family owns a firm named Sushant Agro Industries. The products are sold under the brand name of Sanjeevani Agro Product. Sambhajirao is assisted in the work by sons Sushant and Sankul, and wife Asha. If an order is large, work goes on continuously. As per the demand…..
“Aloe needs very little water. The crop survives even in drought conditions, and grows again after getting water. We grew a crop like this in the drought-prone region of Jat and did the processing ourselves. We have started a direct sales centre in Jat, and at least five to ten consumers buy our products there every day. This business has proved very beneficial to us.” -Sambhajirao Borade – 8275031800
Salient features of Borade’s business…
- Grew aloe in the drought-prone region of Jat, and did the processing himself. An effort to forge a different path in agriculture.
- Instead of despairing after being unsuccessful, he persevered in the business and progressed.
- He retained the peculiarity of the crop which is different from the usual crops, and maintained continuity in the business.
- He established a direct link between the farmer, businessmen and consumers.
- Special attention was given to the quality of aloe juice, which has medicinal properties.