“It is better to work for yourself and have your own start-up rather than working for any institution and see no progress,” says Nitil Bhardwaj, who is earning in lakhs from pearl farming. A resident of Murera village in Champaran district, he comes from a family of farmers.
His father gave him the idea of Pearl farming which made him curious to know furthermore. He quits his 9 to 5 job and decided to give this business a try with some professional training.
Nitil first signed up for training in Madhya Pradesh at Bomoria Pearl Farm. Later, he switched to the training centre in Mumbai where he worked as an assistant pearl farmer for six months.
The training convinced him to start pearl farming as this was unexplored in Bihar. He started aquaculture training in Patna with an experiment in a small pond with 250 to 300 oysters. In his first attempt he earned Rs 75,000.
“This year I planted 30,000 oysters which gave 60,000 Pearls in which there 30,000 pearls turned out dead. Ideally, an acre of a pond accommodates around 25,000 to 30,000 oysters, shares Nitil.
He adds, “One oyster gives two pearls with the investment of around 35 rupees and give profit of minimum 240 rupees . It takes 8-10 months to grow oysters.”
“The designer pearls found in India are highly demanded in foreign countries. With this I contribute to India’s economy in a smaller way. It is better to use our countries products,” he tells PatnaBeats.
He sells his pearls to the traders in Kolkata, Mumbai and South Indian states.
“The pearls I cultivate cost approximately 200 rupees which costs upto 3000 rupees after processing.
If more people start this business, the processing unit can be set-up in Bihar as well and the farmers will get profit directly,” he further adds.
The farmer runs ‘Bhardwaj Pearl Farm and Training Centre’ which provides employment to seven migrant workers who lost their job during the COVID-19 lockdown last year.
He gives them 7000 monthly remuneration with daily food.
His success has inspired others in the area to pursue pearl farming as well. People in his village are taking training from him and starting their own pearl farming. Nitil provides them with all the necessary equipment for the farming.
The State fisheries department has also collaborated with him on this effort.
Nitil said “I am really glad and satisfied to have taken the decision to switch to pearl farming. Now, I can live close to my family, support them. I have better income here than living in another city without the guarantee of the job. I also feel proud to give hand to the migrants during such tough times.”