Pearl is a gem which is mostly used in making jewellery.
Most of the farmers in India are dependent on traditional agriculture, due to which they have to face low income and many difficulties. The practice of this traditional agriculture has been going on since marriages, but today’s farmers are not moving towards this traditional agriculture but towards modern agriculture. Out of which one agricultural small scale pearl farming is also Pearl Cultivation, which we can also call small scale industry because pearl farming comes under Aquaculture Aquaculture. Pearl fish is also cultivated like crab.
What is Pearl Farming ?
Pearl farming comes under aquaculture. Since ancient times, pearls were produced from the seas, but today there is a huge demand for pearls, which can be difficult and expensive to supply from the seas. It is used in the form of ornaments and in today’s time it is being used in the form of making some food items like Chyawanprash and tonic.
Harvesting and keeping of oysters for pearls
Pearl Cultivation Pearl Cultivation First of all, a pond or a cement tank should be made. If you want to keep oysters in the pond, then spread polythene in the pond so that the pond will absorb less water. And if you are making a cement tank, then make such a tank that water does not come out of the tank. Oysters are brought from the river for Pearl Cultivation, but now oysters are easily available in the markets. It must be noted that the oysters found in the markets have to be kept in clean water because oysters die in dirty water. Oyster eats algae as fodder.
Process are Pearls Formed in Nature?
Pearl is formed inside the body of an organism called Oyster, which is inside the sea. A pearl is formed in the sea when a grain of sand enters inside the shell of an oyster. After the sand particle enters inside the shell, when the sand particle pricks the organism present in the shell, then a sticky substance starts coming out from inside the organism. If this substance is released for a long time, it builds up layer upon layer on top of that sand particle. Remains which starts taking the form of a hard pearl due to this process for many months. This pearl is of calcium carbonate. It happens by nature.
The process of making pearls in Pearl Farming
To do pearl farming artificially, after operating the oyster, a 4 to 6 mm piece of calcium carbonate is given inside the oyster to the size in which the pearl is to be obtained. After which the pearl is naturally prepared in the oyster.
Oyster Operation and Maintenance
While operating the oyster, open the shell of the oyster only up to 10 mm, because opening more than 10 mm increases the risk of death of the oyster, then a 4 to 6 mm big piece of the desired size is given inside the oyster. After handling the oysters, the oysters are kept in a separate tank in 1 to 1.5 feet of water with natural feed in nylon bags. After the operation, it should be kept in mind that if any oyster dies, then take that oyster out of the water as soon as possible and fill the new water in the tank. Because after the death of an oyster, a large amount of ammonia is released from its body, which spreads throughout the water, due to which there is a danger of death of even more oysters. Meanwhile, the ammonia present in the water should be kept checked.
Main types of Oysters
There are several types of pearl oysters, some of which are commercially farmed for the purpose of producing pearls, and some of which are valued for their size, texture, and color as gems. Following are some of the major types of oysters:
Ostrech (Oysters): These oysters are most common and famous for pearl farming. The process of making pearls takes place inside the ostrich and they are commercially farmed.
Mussels: Mussels are also used to produce pearls, but the pearls they produce are usually smaller and vary in texture and color.
Abalone: Abalone is also a type of oyster that produces pearls, but the pearls produced by them are usually smaller and their texture and color are also distinctive.
Giant Clams: Giant Clams are also a type of pearl oyster, but the pearls produced by them are larger and their texture and color also show diversity.
These are some of the major types of oysters from which pearls are produced. Each type of oyster has its own characteristics and is found in different geographical areas.
Pearl Farming Cost
The cost of pearl farming depends on several key factors, such as the procurement of oysters, rearing, time, location, technology, and climatic conditions of your area. Here are some common indices of various costs:
Procurement of Oysters: The cost of procurement of oysters will depend on the type, availability and quality of oysters.
Climate and Location: Depending on the climate of your area, availability of water sources and conditions, you may face different costs in oyster farming.
Infrastructure: Oyster farming requires proper infrastructure such as ponds, aqueducts, and protected space which also incurs costs.
Food and Nutrition: There is also a cost of obtaining food to provide proper diet and nutrition to the oysters.
Other Expenses: There are other expenses involved for proper care, balanced management, and protection of oysters.
Professional advice: It is also important to take professional advice for oyster farming, which can guide you about the proper technology, process and business plan.
The cost may vary depending on the different natural and local ecology and your plans, the cost of one oyster in the market for pearl farming is around 10 to 30 rupees and the operation cost of one oyster is around 20 rupees. The average cost of one oyster will be Rs.50.
Pearl farming takes about 15 to 20 months for pearl farming. For pearl farming, the right time for rearing and production of oysters is very important. To do this follow the following way and guidance:
Weather and Climate: The right weather and climate are important for oyster farming. Try to keep the creatures in a stable and favorable climate, as extreme temperatures, extreme heat or cold climates can affect their development.
Natural Streams: It is better to raise oysters in proper natural streams, as this gives more protection to their health and growth.
Sowing time: It is important to choose the right time for oyster sowing. This is determined based on the climate and weather of your area.
Polishing and Care: Polishing is also important in oyster care, which can enhance the texture and quality of oysters.
Market Demand: You should try to produce at the right time to match the production of oysters with the market demand.
Overall Care: It is important to follow general oyster care, such as proper feeding, hygiene, and periodic medical checkups.
The exact time for pearl farming depends on the climate, weather, and local facts of your area, so you should consult local experts about the right time to grow pearls in your area.
Training for Pearl Farming
Pearl farming is not like other farming, it requires training. If you start pearl farming without training, then you may have to face heavy losses. If you do oyster surgery without training, then hardly oysters can survive. Oyster farming without training is a very difficult task. Just like a doctor needs training and a lot of studies before operating any person, in the same way, a lot of training is needed in oyster farming. For the cultivation of pearls, an organization called CIFA i.e. Central Institute of Fresh Water Aquaculture has been formed by the government, which gives free training for 15 days about pearl farming.
An oyster usually contains a single pearl. The price of a pearl depends on many factors, such as the size, texture, color, quality, brilliance, type, and characteristics of the pearl. The price can also vary depending on the particular texture of the pearls, their brilliance, and their use.
The price of commercially harvested pearls is also determined by the variety’s size, quality, and prognosis. For trading pearls, the price varies with the demand of the market and users.
The price of a pearl in the market ranges from 200 to 2000. The price keeps on fluctuating.