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Wednesday, Mar 03, 2004

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Pune firm develops organic solution to boost farm produce

Our Bureau

Pune , March 2

TO increase the produce from the farms, the Pune-based Kumar Krishimitra Bio-Products (I) Pvt Ltd has launched an organic solution called KREF Solution, developed at the Kanitkar Research and Education Foundation (KREF).

Talking to Business Line, Mr Ravi Kanitkar, Managing Director, Kumar Krishimitra, said KREF has invented a process to convert insoluble essential elements in organic manures to soluble, ready-to-absorb food for crops. Trials have been conducted on 500 hectares of crops that included crops such as millet, wheat, corn, sunflower, gram, tomato and leafy vegetables. In Pune district, demonstrations have been carried out in 0.4 hectares of land in Baramati and Haveli Tehesil for the past six months.

Mr Ravi said the KREF solution was not only a limited alternative to chemical fertiliser and fungicide but also acted as a better soil improver as it has about 45 metres of fungal mycelia fibres in one litre of KREF solution. With the usage of this solution, ``the farmers can forget about chemical fertilisers.''

Currently, about three tonnes of chemical fertiliser were utilised for one acre of land while KREF would require only about 20 litres to an acre. He said for irrigated crops, 50 litres of solution were required per hectare while for rain-fed crops 25 litres were enough. The solution is available at Rs 12 per litre.

Mr Ravi said that since the solution has not been treated with any chemical preservative, the solution had to be utilised within 24 hours of production. To overcome this limitation, a bio refinery has also been set up which provides the solution to the farmers.

Bio-refinery has been set up in Baramati (Maharashtra), Udumalpet (Tamil Nadu), Thekkady (Kerala), Wapi (Gujarat) and Siripur (Dhule). The company is planning to set up 5,000 bio refineries across the country by March 2005, he said. For bigger farmers, the bio refinery of 100 litres at Rs 19,000 was recommended. For entrepreneurs, it has a 500-litre bio-refinery at Rs 31,000.

To make the concept of bio-refinery popular, he said the company has chalked out two schemes in which one was to declare a scheme for unemployed agricultural graduates who could act as marketing personnel for the company.

The second option was to fully commercialise the solution by appointing dealers and distributors inits seven target states.

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