L.N. Revathy

Thanjavur, Sept. 1

TARI Bio-Tech has developed a liquid bio-fertiliser formulation with a shelf life of two years.

The product, developed by technocrat Mr R. Kulandaisamy, proprietor of Tari Bio-Tech, is said to be the first of its kind in the country with such shelf life. Tari is planning to establish itself in the domestic marketplace before exploring opportunities abroad.

Tari has a hi-tech nursery at Vallam on the Orathanad bye-pass road in Thanjavur taluk. Recalling his foray into agri-related ventures, this engineer-turned-farmer said he started his career by doing sub-contracting jobs for BHEL. When the unit started to face difficult times, Mr Kulandaisamy decided to diversify into nursery business.

He has not looked back since then. He acquired about 25 acres of land for establishing the nursery and later expanded it to 60 acres. The nursery houses both mother plants/trees and the plantings. "It is a nursery approved by the Union Government for cashew, but we also supply vanilla, citrus, guava, sapota, amla (gooseberry), banana and mango saplings, apart from medicinal and ornamental plants. It is a 100 per cent organic garden," he told Business Line.

The nursery supplied close to 10 lakh plantings annually, he said and added that they had close to 60 mango varieties.

Having established the nursery, Mr Kulandaisamy decided to develop the liquid bio-fertiliser formulation. His engineering background, he claims, helped him in setting up the plant. "We commenced this project under the New Anna Marumalarchi Thittam, on an investment of Rs 1 crore. The installed capacity of the plant is one-lakh litres per month. At present, our monthly production capacity is 30,000 litres. We intend to scale up the production once the market picks up," he added.

According to Mr Kulandaisamy, the area under maize in Thanjavur district alone was over 300 acres and Tari's bio-fertiliser production alone would not be adequate to meet the requirement. "The market is huge, but there is a lack of awareness for such products."

Tari, he said was also contemplating to set up a research and development centre on an investment of Rs 50 lakh for proper recommendation of crop (based on soil type) and soil treatment. "This will come up in the next 12 months. It will enable us to provide cost effective solution to the farmer," Mr Kulandaisamy said.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated September 2, 2005)
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