Why is it so difficult to buy genuine organic vegetables in Hyderabad? Organic dals, millets, rice and other groceries seem to be available in online and offline stores aplenty but organic vegetables in Hyderabad always seem a prized commodity – here is why.
1. Organic vegetables are hard to grow
a) Susceptible to Many Pests and Diseases
Have you ever tried your hand at growing vegetables in your kitchen garden? Did you wonder how every single bhendi and brinjal fruit in your garden seems to have a fruit borer in it? The bottle gourd plant you tended so well seems to be covered in a white powdery dust that eventually destroys the plant? You are not alone – organic vegetable crops are affected by a large number of pests and diseases and we battle with them each day too.
As a principle, nature and hence natural methods maintain a reasonable balance of all organisms and never completely eliminate a pest. Hence managing pests and diseases in organic farming is never a perfect science and the farmer ends up controlling some and losing some. The loss at times could reach a full 100%. To give you an example, we have lost our musk melon crops to a stem and root pest multiple times over the years, despite implementing a large number of organic pest management measures; veggies are no different. The final pack of veggies you receive from us is after grading and trying our best to discard those affected by pests.
So if you find someone professing to you they have a magic potion to control all pests & diseases organically, please send them our way and we will utilize their services. 🙂
Higher pests and diseases mean lower yield and lesser availability.
b) Need know-how and good farming conditions
Organic vegetables need fertile, well balanced soils that need managed carefully, good irrigation facilities and the right farming conditions, in contrast with grain crops that are hardier in general.
Growing veggies requires specialized knowledge – right from seed selection, nursery growing, transplanting and managing the crop through its life cycle. Weeding through the crop growing period, plant protection from a variety of pests and diseases is all to be monitored on an every day basis.
An extended rain for several days or a prolonged drought season that impacts water availability are factors potent enough to wipe out entire crops in the farm, as has happened at our C-Farm in the rainy season of 2021 for example. A new crop takes at least 3-4 months from resowing to harvest and the rains have been so uniquely destructive this season – they have eliminated our crops planted three times in a row in a single season (and yet we plant again!).
c) Higher cost of cultivation
The cost of organic vegetable cultivation is much higher than regularly grown vegetables. Right from seeds or planting material to inputs and practices, organic vegetable cultivation requires higher investments. Organic sources of nutrition in Telangana are a lot more expensive than chemical sources. As an example, to provide the same amount of Nitrogen as a bag of subsidized Urea that costs 300 rupees to the soil, a farmer will have to add dairy manure of 5000 rupees to grow organic vegetables in Hyderabad (cost varies by location). Organic certification has associated costs as well. Further, organic vegetable crops yield lesser than those grown with use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, quantity-wise.
Higher input costs and lower yields translate to a higher cost per unit of organic produce, and generally discourage wider adoption.
2. Seasonality Affects Availability of Organic Vegetables in Hyderabad
In growing organic vegetables in Hyderabad, it has to be remembered that Telangana falls under tropical climatic zone where cool season crops such as potato, peas, carrot, capsicum, cauliflower can be grown only in the winter or rabi season. However the demand for these organic vegetables in Hyderabad is spread round the year and hence produce from the cooler parts of the country is brought in to meet the demand.
In the OrganicSiri model as you know, we only deliver what we grow at our farms (all of which are in Telangana for now) and hence the cool season crop produce such as potatoes only last as long as we can store our winter season produce.
3. Organic Vegetables are Difficult to Transport and Have Low Shelf Life
Unlike regular vegetables, organic vegetables do not go to the local vegetable markets. For a typical organic farmer, there is no specialized organic food distribution mechanism and the produce has to be transported to Hyderabad. Given most vegetables have a small shelf life, organic vegetables in Hyderabad need to be shipped to the customer in a matter of a day or two at most, regardless of how small the quantity may be. Unless the volume is significant, the cost of transport ends up higher than the cost of the produce itself. Storage in cold rooms may extend the life by a day or two but such facilities are hardly available.
OrganicSiri’s Organic Vegetables in Hyderabad
At OrganicSiri, we work very hard to produce and distribute pure organic vegetables in Hyderabad, planning our production around these challenges. We continuously research and develop safe plant protection techniques, build our soil health in situ, develop reusable production process workflows and plan crop cycles to make the best use of available seasons.
Our farms are distributed in different directions of Hyderabad to mitigate localized risks and we continue to expand them in multiple locations to minimize environmental impacts. We have invested in building our own cold room and transport systems.
We are getting better at consistently producing and distributing our organic vegetables in Hyderabad for you, while we still have periods of low availability. As you may know, we add stocks on our site each week at harvest and deliver organic vegetables in Hyderabad based on online orders. We thank you for your continued support.