Vanilla Growing in India in a Controlled Environment

Krishnamoorthy Vijayakumar

Vigirom P. Ltd.
India

vijay@vigirom.com

Vanilla growing, world over, has been plagued by rising and unaffordable prices, uncertain supplies, and diseases and infestations, and unforeseen climatic changes which together pose huge challenges for this industry 

 

Aquaponics, a new Agritech that promises a lot, can be experimented with, to ascertain whether it lends itself well to the growing of Vanilla, in “soil less” and controlled conditions, to ensure better disease management, under a controlled environment, for optimal growth, and increased yield 

 

Madhavi Organic Farms in Bangalore, has grown 1000 vines in their Aquaponics facility and has interesting data to share on the performance so far, since the experiment was initiated in October 2018. The success of this new age Agritech will open up a host of possibilities that will eventually ensure stability, supply, and quality organic beans for the Global Flavour Industry 

 


K. Vijayakumar, Managing Director of Vigirom P. Ltd., is a 3rd generation businessman in the Perfumery and Aroma industry. He obtained his Diploma in Perfumery attheworld renowned school of Perfumery, at Roure (now Givaudan), Grasse, France

 

An electrical engineer from the Bangalore Uni., he migrated to the family business in Perfumery soon after graduation and currently manages Vigirom P. Ltd., located in Bangalore, India. 

Vijay has always been passionate about Organic Farming, and experimenting with Aroma crops that include Mint, Vanilla, Patchouli, etc. Recently, early 2018, Vijay set up an Aquaponics Unit in his 10 hectare Organic farm, the largest and the first of its kind in India, and one of a few in Asia, covering about 60,000 sq. ft. 

 

Primarily commissioned to grow a range of 100% Organic Vegetables, a portion of this unit is reserved for research and experimentation on high value aroma crops. He has been experimenting with Vanilla since September 2018 and the results and data obtained so far have been very encouraging and promising. Though the work is not complete, the growth and quality so far offers an exciting alternative to conventional open field cultivation of Vanilla that have severe challenges in the form of pests and infestations that so far have not shown up in Aquaponics, where they reflect faster growth, controlled conditions and almost disease free growth. Vijay believes this could be a path breaking turn in the history of Vanilla cultivation offering stability, growth and supply for Vanilla consumers around the world.