I was toying with the idea of farming, when I was introduced to Shivanagouda Patil. An IT professional who had given up his corporate job to pursue agriculture. Patil as we fondly called him came from an agriculture family therefore he was very grounded and practical. I instantly liked his personality and looked up to him as a mentor, he allowed me to tag along to his farm in Chennapatna. At that time his farm had Banana, Mango and Papaya plantations.
As it usually happens we all got busy with our own ventures, many years later when I heard about Patil's AgriTech venture called Ecoflora AgriTech. I was very curious to know more.
Finally that day came. During that visit I learnt Patil had transformed his Mango plantation into a profitable business of growing & exporting roses. I was not expecting anything ordinary but even then I was impressed by usage of technology to grow crops. Everything from watering, moisture control and monitoring are high tech at Ecoflora. Farm labor are factory workers with clear set of tasks and standard procedures, this is commercialization of agriculture at its best.
During this visit we learnt that not all roses are made equal. Rose symbol of love is continually altered for color and fragrance to be the special gift to special someone. Each of these variants are property of their creators therefore only the authorized can grow & sell these special beauties !
In order maintain high standards and consistency these flowers are grown in controlled environment. In order to avoid soil borne contamination sterilized coco peat is rolled into pellets as shown below and used as growing medium.
These pellets are loaded into seedling trays and will be the foundation for the plant until they root.
Seeding trays are then planted with graft as shown below, the top part of the band is the desired variant and bottom is rooting medium. The bonding area is fused with a elastic band.
Then the newly grafted plant is moved into a special housing that maintains constant humidity and temperatures while nature does its magic.
Once the grafting is fused the roots will be established from the base stock and grafted stock will start to have new leaves.
This is signs of everything going well and time to move the plants into hardening phase in lesser regulated environment.
Once the plants are hardened to their new environment conditions they are transplanted to growing beds.
From here they grow into fully bearing plants, each of these plants are neatly manicured and cared for.
Finally the labor of love looks like this
Post harvest these flowers are processed in a 20 degree processing unit that looks like cold storage.
Flowers are graded and packaged for transportation to destinations across the world.
Ecoflora are the licensed growers for Dutch roses and object of our envy.