Bengaluru: Shalaji is a resident of Malappuram in Kerala. Though he is a graduate of economics, his heart lies in farming. 

He cultivates poppy seeds. For the last two decades, it has been his profession. 

Shalaji’s wife too helps him in the cultivation. Well, you may be surprised to know that the family earns Rs 10 lakh a year. 

He says, “Most people cultivate poppy. So after completing my studies, I did not apply for a job anywhere. I decided to cultivate poppy seeds. I had gathered a lot of information about its business even during my studies”.

Before starting his cultivation, Shalaji did a lot of R&D. He spoke to a number of people and understood the intricacies. 

During the lockdown, he also set up a processing unit. He started producing new products. 

Now, they are making products like syrup, powder, medicinal oil, health drink, tooth powder, bath powder and bath scrubbers. This is making great profits in his business. He has also given employment to 5 women.

Dainik Bhaskar notes that Shalaji is currently cultivating poppy on 10 acres of land. It is interesting to note that they also buy the crops of those farmers, who are unable to sell their crops in the market. They have tied up with many big companies for which they manufacture products. Also, the company has also registered itself. They are marketing in both online and offline modes. Apart from poppy seeds, they make and supply products like turmeric powder, aloe vera powder, rose leaves powder, henna powder, indigo powder, amla powder, amla sherbet.

Interestingly, Shalaji's wife Sindhu is also a graduate from economics and is playing an important role in her husband's business. She constantly keeps researching about poppy and market trends. Any new product that they get information about, they themselves also start working on that product.