Pearl Farming | It was 25 years ago today, a 23-year-old youth went to a university to escape from the scorching sun and heat. The name of this university was Dr. Panjabrao Deshmukh Agricultural University, which is in Akola, Maharashtra. As soon as he reached the library here, this young man’s eyes fell on some books of the British era. Pearl farming was mentioned in those books. Then I am going to tell you the story of what happened in this article. A story that talks about hard work, dedication, passion, struggle and success. This is the story of Ashok Manwani who belongs to Maharashtra.
Dream of making India number one in pearl farming
Today, Ashok Manwani is known for his innovation in pearl farming and his research on oysters. He has also been honoured with several national awards for his contribution. His research work is still going on unabated. His dream is that India should reach the first position in pearl farming. To make this dream come true, he is engaged in research day and night. His wife Kulanjan Dubey Manwani is also supporting him well in this work.
Research and training on pearl farming for 25 years
Kulanjan and Ashok Manwani together have done pearl farming in 18 states so far. In states like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, Manipur, Meghalaya, Assam, Karnataka, Kerala, not only did pearl farming himself, but also taught the tricks of pearl farming to many youths and farmers.
Ashok Manwani says that pearl farming has been a subject of Geology for 300 years, but no one ever thought of studying it. People do not know how many types of oysters are found in India. For this, they go to the forests and do research work. Conducts field research on oysters and pearls himself. He has done many research and promotion of pearl farming at his own expense. Apart from this, in collaboration with the government, he has also done many programs regarding pearl farming.
Pearl Farming Techniques
Ashok Manwani says that the oysters that people get in the village, they bring them and operate them. Nucleus coming in many types of designs are inserted in them. This is called cultured process, which is natural. In this, to give the pearl its own shape and design, with the help of tools, a die of metal etc. is kept in the oyster so that a shiny layer of this metal can be mounted on it. Explain that as soon as a particle goes inside the oyster, it leaves a liquid to take it out. This liquid is called necker. Slowly, layer by layer, the oyster makes a shiny coating on that particle and then after a while it becomes a pearl.
Usually pearls are formed inside the oyster in one or one and a half years. However, according to the Manwani couple, the time to become a pearl is decided according to different weather and water. Ashok Manwani told that there are many big cities where climate has affected pearl production. There are many big cities where pearl production is on the verge of ending, because the water and environment of that place are not suitable for it.
Gave everything to pearl farming
Ashok Manwani learned about the training related to pearl farming, the nuances related to it at the Central Institute of Freshwater Aquaculture (CIFA, Central Institute of Freshwater Aquaculture) located in Bhubaneswar. Here he got to know about the limitless possibilities of pearl production/pearl farming/pearl farming.
Ashok Manwani considers Dr. Janaki Raman as his guru. He says that he told about many problems related to pearl farming. Just did it again, taking up this challenge he devoted more than two decades of his life to solve those problems and still he is engaged in pearl farming research with that dedication.
Prepared pearl farming tool kit
Along with his research on pearl farming, Ashok is also known for his innovation. He prepared a special tool kit. Ashok Manwani says that there were no tools for pearl farming or oyster operation in India. The ones that were there would have been so expensive that it would have been difficult for everyone to buy them. Ashok says that in today’s date, he has prepared all the tools to operate the oyster. It cost him around Rs 20 lakh. He got this fund under a scheme. The tool kit he has made costs between Rs 500 and Rs 800. He has also received respect from the government for his tool kit.
Ashok and his wife Kulanjan together run an organization called ‘Indian Pearl Culture’. In the year 2001, he started ‘Indian Pearl Culture’ and today under his banner, he has trained hundreds of people for pearl farming.
Pearl farming in organic way
Ashok says that his farm is the only one in the world that cultivates pearls organically. He said that wherever pearl farming is being done now, most of the people extract pearls by killing oysters after a certain time. In this process, they kill the oysters prematurely. As much as oysters are used to make pearls, many more are also important for the environment.
“Oyster our friend, serve it”
Ashok Manwani told that oyster is such a friendly organism, which filters water, but people considered it as an enemy and harmed its existence. But now the situation is definitely changing. Now awareness has come among the people. Ashok Manwani is working to spread this awareness to the masses. They always extract pearls only after the natural death of oysters. In this way, today only natural and organic pearls are produced in his farm and this is his biggest specialty. Ashok Manwani says that the more oysters you serve, the better pearls will be given. He has also applied for patents for several innovations.
Reduced the death rate of oysters
Ashok Manwani explains that the main reasons for the increase in mortality rate in oysters are lack of right information and right tools. So he worked on both of these and brought the right information and the right tools to the people.
There is a lot to know in Pearl Tourism
Today, people come from far-flung areas and other states to see his farm, for which the fee is around Rs 6,000. His farm is such a model, where people get to know all the details of pearl farming or pearl farming. They have named it Pearl Tourism.
Ashok Manwani associated with many agricultural institutes
The Manwani couple also teach the nuances of pearl production to farmers through agricultural institutions like Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK), Atma (Agricultural Technology Management Agency (ATMA), Agricultural Universities.
It is very important to have an understanding of oysters in pearl farming
Ashok Manwani says that there are many who have to do pearl farming just because they want to earn money. They don’t have love for work. They run away from research. Ashok Manwani himself enters the field and gives training by going from jungle to jungle. He says that in pearl farming, it is very important to understand the nature of the oyster, understand its diet and understand the environment.
What about the oyster after extracting the pearl?
Ashok Manwani Many handicraft items like jewellery, lamps, holders are made from oyster shells, which are available in the market at a good price. In this way, it becomes an additional source of income for the farmers.
Received more than 70 honours
Ashok and Kulanjan have been awarded more than 70 honours for their many years of research and tireless hard work on pearl farming.
How is the price of pearl determined?
About two thousand pearls can be produced at a time from a thousand square feet pond. As far as the price of a pearl is concerned, it is determined on parameters like its texture, size, weight, colour, luster. Ashok says that it costs 300 to 400 rupees to prepare a pearl. The cost of designer pearls is 2 to 3 thousand rupees. By the way, there are such examples in the country when the price of a single pearl has reached above lakh rupees.
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