Bikram Singh, CEO of Madera-based Nia Ag Solutions, backed by a group of investors, has purchased nearly 1,200 acres of almonds in west Fresno County. The plan is to turn these orchards organic. Bikram Singh bought the eight parcels near Cantua Creek and one parcel straddling the San Luis Mendota Canal for $15 million. The purchase is part of a larger strategy to acquire producing acreage and transition it to organic. The process will take several years.
Singh currently manages more than 10,000 acres and in the last three years has acquired more than 2,200 acres of Fresno County almonds with his investors. Gaining organic certification is not an easy process, said Singh. The crops need to be free of fertilizers and chemicals for three years before they can receive certification under U.S. Department of Agriculture standards.