Because of their glister and fascinating manner of formation, pearls are greatly valued and are amongst the most sought-after gemstones in the world.
While in nature, pearls are produced within the soft tissue of a living shelled mollusc, the same process can be carried out under artificially-controlled conditions, by inserting a tissue graft from a donor oyster into a recipient shell, causing a pearl sac to form into which the tissue precipitates calcium carbonate.
This process is known as pearl culturing and is a thriving business worldwide.
But, how often do you come across someone who is cultivating pearls in a highly unlikely place like Gurugram in Haryana and is reaping rich annual returns?
Vinod Yadav, a resident of Gurugram, decided to put the pond in his backyard to better use and took to cultivating pearl across one bigha (or 1/5th acre) of land in his hometown village of Jamalpur. He is possibly the only pearl farmer in the satellite city.
An engineer by profession, Vinod had initially considered breeding fish in the pond which measures 20 x 20 ft. and even visited the District Fisheries Department in 2016, along with his uncle Suresh Kumar, to get more information. Unfortunately, he had to drop the idea as he couldn’t afford to set up a unit in the little patch of land that he had inherited.
“Seeing this, Dharmendra Singh, the District Fisheries Officer, asked him to consider cultivating pearls instead, and sent Yadav to the Central Institute of Freshwater Aquaculture, Bhubaneswar for a month-long training programme in pearl culture,” Vinay Pratap Singh, Gurugram’s Deputy Commissioner, said to the Times of India.
Vinod’s pearl farming venture is proving to be quite lucrative as he makes more than ₹4 lakh per annum!
According to Dharmendra Singh, Gurugram is the first district in the state that has taken up pearl farming, and after seeing the good results, other districts are also contemplating the possibility of investing in this line.
“Also, the Fisheries Department gives a subsidy 50 to farmers cultivating pearls,” he told IANS, reports TOI.
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In India, the cost of setting up the required infrastructure for pearl cultivation amounts to approximately ₹40,000, and the duration of one session of cultivation is between eight to 10 months.
Featured Image Source: Vikaspedia/Cultured Pearl Oyster’s Farming Practice Centre.
(Edited by Gayatri Mishra)