Agriculture which -by some- is thought of as a dying sector in India, can again become profitable when tackled with the right mindset. There are growers that are aiming to produce items, searching for the industry best practices and collaborating with experts.
Harshit Godha chose to pursue avocado cultivation, and is collaborating with Israeli agriculture industry. He got to see avocado cultivation as an untapped business opportunity in India: “Here is a fruit, that’s trendy, massively popular on social media, actually beneficial to health, scarce to source and commands a premium price. The West is already on to it, surely East would follow the trend.”
And: if it is possible to grow avocados commercially in both northern and southern hemispheres across six of the seven continents, then there might be a possibility to grow it in India, ideally in Madhya Pradesh.
Avocados, though not in abundance, are available in tier 1 and 2 cities in India. Either the produce is imported, or locally grown in South India. In case of the former, it is usually the Hass variety, while for the latter, it’s a low-quality indigenous avocado grown from seedlings, that barely resembles its modern-day cousin.
According to the established literature, the fruit ideally grows best in tropical and sub-tropical climates where temperature ranges between 3 to 32oCelsius. But that hasn’t stopped Israeli growers to develop rootstocks and cultivars that can withstand high temperatures and heat. The temperature in some places like central Arava region there are as high as my home town, Bhopal and they are cultivating avocados there.
Israeli avocado experts think that avocado cultivation holds a huge potential in India, due to the rising disposable income with the middle and upper middle class. A renowned agriculture based firm has already established a pilot avocado orchard in south India and some coffee farmers in Wayanad are also experimenting with avocado scions from Vietnam on their indigenous rootstocks.