Own an Organic Farm

 

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is it legal to grow and sell Sandalwood?

Indian government law does not specifically prevent growing sandalwood trees in ones own property. Only Karnataka State, Sandalwood trees were the property of the government for years, since they were precious and only grew in natural forests. Almost all harvestable sandalwood is depleted from the natural forests. The demand for the sandalwood is steadily growing. In light of this, the Karnataka government has changed old rules to adapt to new changing conditions. As per the Section 108 of the Karnataka Forest (Amendment) Act 2001, sandalwood tree grown in a specific land is the property of the ownder of the land. Hence, anybody can grow sandalwood without any apprehensions. The government is also providing subsidy to grow sandalwood through State & Central Medicinal Plants Authority and Horticulture Department.

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2. Is it possible to harvest Sandalwood in 15 years?

So far we have only known Sandalwood, which was naturally grown in the forest. Sandalwood is not a semi root-parasite and depends on the host plants for most of its nutrients; this is not readily available in the forest and therefore the growth takes time However, the scenario in organized cultivation is different. The proven advanced selviculture technology, host plants, controlled water and nutrient management makes Sandalwood tree to achieve optimum maturity within 15 years. We administer advanced natural “krishi yoga” method to achieve optimum growth in 15 years rather than 30 years in a natural forest.

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3. What is the proposal of Village Organics?

Village Organics follows an Indian traditional farming practice model of investor owns the land, bears the infrastructure costs and we will do the cultivation and share profits of the crop on 50-50 basis.

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4. What are the risks involved in Sandalwood plantation and how does Village Organics take care of these risks?

Sandalwood is a hardy tree that can withstand dry conditions, least susceptible to pests and diseases. We select the most suitable sites for plantation based on good soil, water and environmental conditions. We use advanced micro irrigation methods which conserves and delivers optimum water for trees. We administer natural methods for crop protection. The multi level fool proof security systems help prevent any theft.

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5. What are the farm security measures?
  • 7 ft - solar fencing all around the farm with a single point entry and a secured gate.
  • 24x7 security personnel staff will be present on the farm.
  • Full time dog squad management.
  • Installation of vigilance cameras at key points with 24x7 recording facility.
  • Insertion of RFID (Radio Frequency IDs) in the stem of all Sandalwood trees.

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6. What is soil to store concept?

We do cultivation, add value by making products from the produce and market products through various channels.

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7. What is “Step-Up” pricing module and how does it help customers?

Project needs investors funding right from the initial stage, however, different investors need different security levels to help them understand and feel secured to invest in any project.

Few want to know as to how many people have invested and are ready to invest only after many others invest.

Few want the plantation to be completed and only post which they feel comfortable to invest.

We as a company understand and accept the insecure nature of the customers and customers cannot be blamed as the past experiences have not been good in many cases. However, as a company, we need the initial investors to invest in order to answer these s and to reach the plantation stage.

On the other hand, we have investors who can analyse the capacity of the team and the project details at the initial stages and can start investing. Step-Up pricing module helps an organization in such situations. The pricing in such modules purely depends on the development/s done in the project and the Risk vs Reward ratio.

For example, our pricing spreads between Rs. 250, 285, 335 and finally upto Rs. 385 per Sq. Yd. Anyone buying at any stage, gets the same final benefit.

The difference in the initial investment pricing helps the customer decide as to which stage they want to accept entering the project and properly compensate the initial risk take as per the Risk vs Reward ratio.

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8. If the results are guaranteed, then why don’t the farmers or the project owners do the farming themselves?

There is a great market potential and need to protect and preserve Indian sandalwood tradition and heritage. Village Organics needs financial resources to cultivate large areas and fulfil the demand. Our expertise in commercial sandalwood cultivation took years to develop. If we have to cultivate only on our own land, we would be limited by our resources. However with community farming model we can cultivate larger areas.

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9. What are the benefits of Community Farming?
  • You get the ownership of the property (1/4 acre or multiples).
  • You get 50% share of the profits from the produce.
  • From the fifth year onwards mango produce will begin.
  • From the 15th year the sandalwood will be harvested.
  • Stay at Eco-Village guest house with family and friends.
  • Tax Free income as it comes under “Green Money”.
  • You would be a proud contributor of over 400 trees (per acre) to the environment.

Post 15 years this investment is seen as a good plan for a farm house as the project will end up with only mango groves (as sandalwood will be sold) leaving behind a lush green farmland big enough for construction, with gated community, common guest house, well laid roads connecting each acre of land giving independent access to the land owner/s and the most important “the likeminded neighbours” as all the owners would have minimum of 1/4 acre of land, which means “family privacy” and would be and ideal plan to get away from the concrete jungle as a post retirement life.

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10. Do we (customers) have to pay anything for the maintenance cost after the fourth year?

No, the initial stages of sandalwood cultivation is the most costly affair, however after the fourth year the trees grow big and needs less maintenance. Added, the mango trees start yielding small incomes which takes care of the maintenance. Post all maintenance expenses, the land owners can expect small profits “approximately” 20-30 thousand PA (per acre). We have classified the expenses to maintain clarity as the initial investment can only take care upto the 4th year.

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11. Who is Dr. H S Anantha Padmanabha and how is he associated with this project?

Dr. H S Anantha Padmanabha, the forestry consultant, is an expert on sandalwood cell biology who mastered the technology of artificial raising of sandalwood. A scientist with 40 years’ experience in forestry in India; he had worked as a senior scientist at the Institute of Wood Science and Technology in Bangalore (India) from 1964 to 1998 and was responsible for guiding research projects on sandalwood and other forestry species including but not limited to techniques of growing sandalwood and disease and pests affecting forestry tree species.

Currently, he is a Director of Karnataka Research Foundation and Advance Technology Transfer, Bangalore; Consultant to Tropical Forestry Services Western Australia; consultant to Forest Rewards, Western Australia, he had served as a consultant to Department of Conservation and Land Development (CALM) and Forest Product Commission (FPC) Government of Australia from 1998 to 2002. He is honorary consultant to Karnataka Soaps and Detergents Ltd., Bangalore, assisting and providing guidance to farmers, corporate bodies and NGOs growing sandalwood in India.

He has co-authored books on sandalwood and have published over 150 publications in both Indian and International journals. He was designated as chief Technical Advisor for sandalwood projects with the World Bank Free project (ICFRE) Government of India. He is currently appointed as the chief technical scientist for this peject. Many articles have been written about him.

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12. Do you have any Insurance for this crop as it is a long term crop?

Yes. This is currently provided as an option to our customers.

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13. I would like to see the site. Do you provide the transport facility to visit the site?

You are welcome to visit the site on any Saturday or Sunday. We do not provide transportation facility on companies cost. You would have to travel on your own convenience, or company’s cab can be availed at a cost of Rs. 500 per head.

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14. Are there any discounts or price negotiations?

The offer price is fixed and we do not have any scope for negotiations.

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15. When is the land registered in my name?

The registration/transfer is done on receipt of full payment or on the completion of all installments.

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16. Can we have a choice in selecting the land allocated to us?

An up-to-date copy of the layout and allocation would be available at the time of registration and allocations are done on first come first serve basis (without any prior reservations) to maintain a fair and transparent ownership.

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17. As owners, can we construct a farm house, on our own expense, in our alloted piece of land?

No, though customers being the owners it cannot be allowed for any construction in the “cultivation area”.

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18. I come from a farming background, can I implement/handle/add/modify any changes to my piece of land or the crop?

Ideas/suggestions are welcome. However, there’s a lot of investment involved in availing proven technology by reputed scientists/biologists for the project and hence any changes/modifications is strictly not permitted without any prior and written consent of the project owners.

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19. What happens if my piece of land yields lesser than the others. Will I get lesser returns?

As in cultivation, the yields might/would differ depending on lots of reason/s therefore the collective yield is divided cumulatively among all the members, irrespective of individual contribution.

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20. What if I wish to sell the property in the mid of the term?

As the owner you are free to transfer/change the ownership, however the new owner has to agree/follow the same agreement of cultivation as done originally. Any/all costs/emerging out of the transfer has to be borne by the customer or the new party.

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21. What is the project exit plan?

The sandalwood harvest will bring the project to an end. Thereafter, the entire project would be handed over to the customers after forming a general body and electing community leaders. However, customers who are interested can approach the project owners for another term of harvesting with terms and conditions decided at that point (depending on prevailing conditions).

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Our Sandalwood Farms

Devadula Village

 

Manjeera Village

 

Ananthagiri Village