Organic product receives positive feedback

A farmer was able to harvest chillies from his farm after TC Ana. He said plants were still alive and well even after being battered by the winds. Picture: SUPPLIED

THE introduction of an organic product for the agriculture sector in the country has resulted in improvements in yields for farmers using the product. Introduced in 2019 by Samisoni Enterprises, Karyon Organic was seen as a product that could help farmers run more profitable farms through increased yields.

Hanisi Hodge from Samisoni Enterprises said they always followed up with farmers who used the product and had recieved great response from them.

“Often farmers will send us pictures and call us to share the good news when they have good results from using Karyon,” she said.

Ms Hodge said one of their farmers Balmindra Singh plants bongo chilies on a commercial level in Tailevu.

“Since he started using Karyon, he needs to use less fertiliser — he has reduced his expenses on input by 50 per cent.

“His crop yield has also gone up by 200 per cent. Karyon has greatly improved the profit margin his farm is making. What’s even more amazing, is that he was still able to harvest more than 2kg of chillies just three days after Cyclone Ana.”

She said the farmer was very happy that because of Karyon, he didn’t lose his crops during the cyclone.

“We also had a farming couple from Labasa come in to buy the product just after TC Yasa. They said that they have a plot of dalo where they did not apply Karyon, and a younger plot where they did apply Karyon (they have been using the product for about five months).

“They said that after TC Yasa their farm was flooded, the dalo where they did not apply Karyon died, but the dalo where they did apply Karyon survived the flood.

“This is one of the benefits of Karyon – the plants grow stronger roots and they are able to resist environmental stress and adverse weather.”

She said in this way, Karyon reduced the risk of farmers losing their crops during bad weather, adding that because Karyon had increased the profit margin of their farm, they had been able to invest in farming equipment for the first time ever.

“They used to rent rotovators, however after five months of using Karyon they have made enough money to buy their own, due to the increase in yield and the reduction in expenditure on inputs.”

According to Ms Hodge since the product was introduced in the local market, some people were sceptical at first because they were not aware of soil health or why it’s so important, or understand how using a soil ecology re-enhancement formula would help their farm.

She said results from farmers using the product had been great which had encouraged other farmers to use Karyon.

“Our biggest challenge has been getting people to understand that we are not in competition with fertilisers or other organic inputs.

“Karyon is not a fertilizer- it is a soil ecology re-enhancement formula. Karyon does a job that fertilisers do not do and cannot do — it keeps soil healthy and fertile.”

Despite the success of the product the pandemic had some impact on the business.

“We started this venture before the global pandemic, and we had no idea those mere months after we introduced this product to the market the demand for agriculture supplies would go up so much because of COVID-19.

“The pandemic has been hard on everyone, and we are no exception. “However, we are grateful that we have been able to help people who rely on farming to increase their yield and look after their land.”

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