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Aloe Vera Cultivation: Benefits and Business Opportunities

Aloe vera is a species of succulent plant in the Aloe genus. It is common and recognised as a native species in many parts of the world. The species is excellent for decorative purposes and grows indoors as a potted plant. It is an evergreen perennial native to the Arabian Peninsula but grows wild in tropical, semi-tropical, and dry areas worldwide.

Health Benefits of Aloe vera

It is best known for its soothing effects on sunburn. The gel-like tissue is filled with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and amino acids. It has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. Aloe vera increases metabolism, lowers blood pressure levels, treats mouth sores, acts as a moisturiser and hydrating agent and has anti-ageing properties. It helps to treat skin conditions such as acne, skin injury due to radiation, minor burns, skin abrasions, dandruff, psoriasis and so on.

Aloe Vera on product display wood counter background.

Aloe vera improved glycemic control in people with prediabetes and Type-2 diabetes when used as a supplement. Aloe vera has also been used as a traditional remedy for a variety of illnesses, such as skin problems and constipation.

Business Possibilities

Aloe vera Farming is more profitable. It is used in different areas, including the food, cosmetics, and medical industries. Less water and maintenance were required for aloe vera production. In the Indian market, the cost of harvested aloe vera ranges from Rs 15,000 to 20,000 per tonne. Aloe vera farming doesn’t require a lot of investment because it’s a low-maintenance crop. Aloe vera leaf production investments can yield a profit of 5 to 6 lakh rupees per year.

Economic Use of Aloe vera

The commercial trade in earth’s resources generated from aloe vera mainly focuses on two components: leaf exudate, used in laxatives, and leaf mesophyll, used in products applied topically for skin conditions or taken orally for gastrointestinal issues and general health.

Here we came across a tea staller who was inspired by reading a news article about aloe vera and now earning lakhs by exploring its business opportunities.

Ajay Swamy, a 31-year-old from Parlika village in Rajasthan’s Hanumangarh district started selling tea in 1999. After completing his education until class eight, he had to take on his family responsibilities. He got some pieces of land inherited from his father. He wanted to improve his financial situation. Once he read a newspaper article about aloe vera farming and was attracted to it.

Ajay started reading and talking to farmers in his community about how to cultivate aloe vera and collected information regarding the plant. He discovered through these encounters that growing aloe vera does not need a lot of water as Rajasthan was a drought-prone area and cultivating a crop heavily dependent on water wouldn’t be a wise option.

Ajay Swamy

Ajay collected some aloe vera plants from a nearby cemetery and planted them in his fields. He googled how to take care of aloe vera and used high-quality soil and fertiliser for the plants. “I saw to it that the plants received enough sunlight and that the leaves were much above the ground,” he explains. It was his first attempt at cultivation, so he had low expectations. Meanwhile, he maintained operating his tea shop. He used the money he had saved from his tea company to develop his aloe vera supply. He was surprised one and a half years later. He got a good yield.

His struggles

He succeeds in his farming and gives up the tea business. The problem he had to face was finding potential buyers. He said,” For two years, I never managed to find a customer to buy the aloe vera.” Finally, he found out those big brands collect aloe vera from farmers and make by-products.

He also imitates this by taking a mixer and making a bottle of aloe vera juice on the farm. Slowly he made ten bottles of the aloe vera juice and sold them to the people in his village. Companies too showed interest in buying bottled aloe vera juice, and in time, the demand increased.

Find his new market

He started going to Krishi Vigyan Kendra, where he learned how to make various items, such as soap, creams, candies, shampoos, and conditioners. With the money he made from selling goods, he built up a processing facility on his land.

In 2012, he introduced his company, Natural Health Care. Now, the business generates Rs 10 lakh in revenue annually and offers 47 aloe vera-based products, including shampoos, conditioners, toothpaste, drinks, and sweets.

According to Ajay, he had made tie-ups with twenty companies in and around Rajasthan. His businesses include ayurvedic health brands, cosmetics, and pharmaceutical brands. He experimented with aloe vera laddus during the lockdown period. These laddus are his top-selling product, priced at Rs 350 per kg. He is now happy with his business improvement and expresses his joy that more people are beginning to understand the value of aloe vera.