Nature never fails man though it is not always the other way round. Cuttack is all set to witness a “flowery revolution”, thanks to the daring, city based entrepreneurs Mr. Soumendra Behera and his brother Mr. Saptendra Behera. Novices in floriculture and agribusiness, they are primarily in the business of selling footwear and other leather-based products. The two brothers have successfully established the first Greenhouse based commercial floriculture enterprise in the State.
Their Bhoomi Agro Enterprises Pvt. Ltd. has set up five greenhouses over an area of 2.5 acre in the 10acre plot and is farming roses and gerbera flowers. The Rs 1.25 crore project has gone into commercial production and now is supplying the markets of Cuttack and Bhubaneswar. Daily production of roses and gerbera in various shades of red, white, orange, pink and yellow has touched around 3,000 each and is increasing consistently.
On the open plots, fruits and vegetables like muskmelon, cauliflower, brinjals, bottle gourd are grown to be supplied to the local markets as well as exported to Ranchi and Kolkata.
The green-houses with state of the art technology and tended by floriculture expert Sushil Choubey have sustained the adverse climatic pressures, primarily extreme heat conditions, to produce high quality flowers.”We have adopted the best practices in climate control and drip irrigation to provide suitable temperature along with appropriate water and nutrition. The results have been outstanding with our produce being acknowledged as export quality by the Central as well as State Horticulture Departments,” says Soumendra.
The enterprise, supported by the RSB Group of their elder brothers and the brainchild of Soumendra, has not had a smooth start though. The idea was dismissed as utterly unviable on account of soil and climate of Tangi region. But the man persisted and results are evident. The production level at present, though, meets a meagre 10 per cent of the requirement in twin cities that amounts to a minimum of 50,000 roses and gerberas a day. The enterprise is, thus, set to expand further to achieve a target of 1.5 lakh flowers per day within the next three years. “We envisage to cover around 60 acre over the period. In the immediate future, three new greenhouses for roses are being finalised. We also plan to farm carnations, orchids and other exotic and decorative value flowers in a gradual manner,” Soumendra reveals.
The brother duo sets an example for everyone who dares to challenge all oddities in pursuing their dream.