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Pearl Farming in a Desert? “Yes, it is Possible and Profitable,” Says Vinod Bharti Earning Lakhs at it

Vinod Bharti, a progressive farmer hailing from Rajasthan, has brought the impossible to fruition: cultivating pearls in the arid landscape of his home state. Confused with the amalgamation? Read the full story!

Mrini Devnani
Vinod Bharti, a pearl farmer from Rajasthan (Photo Source: Vinod Bharti)
Vinod Bharti, a pearl farmer from Rajasthan (Photo Source: Vinod Bharti)

In a state where water is revered akin to precious pearls, an innovative farmer has defied conventional norms to cultivate genuine pearls. What may initially appear as a tale spun from the fabric of fantasy is a tangible reality through resilience and a relentless determination to surmount challenges.

Vinod Bharti, a former computer instructor from Rajasthan, ingeniously ventured into oyster pearl farming, reaping remarkable profits amounting to Rs 20 lakh per harvest. Facing the harsh realities of unemployment after the closure of his computer academy due to dwindling student enrolment, Bharti stumbled upon the promising prospect of pearl cultivation in the landscape of Rajasthan.

Initiating his foray into this unconventional livelihood with a modest investment of Rs 50,000 to 75,000, Bharti took on a journey of discovery from adversity into opportunity. He says, “I was the first one to start pearl farming in 2017. After thorough research and understanding about it, I started the venture. However, it took me time to work out the technicalities. In Rajasthan, farming of pearl truly seemed like a daunting task at first. But I stuck to my goal, no matter what.”

Bharti has also pursued a course Pearl Farming. “These days, there is a range of information and material available online for it. However, I went for an on-ground training at ICAR, Bhubaneswar.”

Back home, he created a 10x5 artificial pond and five hundred seeds to start at it. “Several seeds got damaged and eventually wasted,” he recalls. Then, a team of researchers helped him strive and guided him further. They inspected the setting and provided him with detailed inputs.  

“Currently, the project is at a large scale with 2 bighas. Day after day, I worked to purchase more land and water ponds for my farming. I also created a rainwater harvesting system to support the pearl farming venture.” Annually, the farmer is making 18-20 lakh rupees. “I gave my 100 percent to receive 100 percent results,” he says.

Today, his perseverance and foresight have borne fruit, both figuratively and literally, as he is at the helm of a flourishing pearl farming enterprise, going beyond geographical constraints to establish a thriving market not only within India but also internationally, spanning destinations like the UAE and Thailand.

Bharti's innovative approach to aquaculture has garnered widespread recognition, drawing accolades from notable figures including former chief ministers Vasundhara Raje and Ashok Gehlot. In Rajasthan's dry terrain, Bharti has shown the potential for sustainable agricultural practices.

“It has been nearly 7-8 years since the time I started. Along the way, I learned very many things. Consistently, I along with my team of 20 farmers can produce thousands of pearls.”

Bharti aims to train several youth and women in pearl farming. “My advice to others is to start pearl farming to earn good profits.” Looking ahead, Bharti hopes to establish a training institute to impart knowledge and skills to aspiring farmers interested in venturing into aquaculture.

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