How To Start a Lavender Farm Business with Low Investment
Do you want to start a commercial lavender farm with small capital investment? Find here a detailed lavender farm business plan for your ready reference.
Commercial lavender farming is a profitable business opportunity even for small entrepreneurs. However, a large piece of land ensures a better profit ratio.
The scientific name of the lavender is Lavandula. And the plant belongs to the family Lamiaceae. General industry use includes fragrance, specialty food, and alternative medicine industry. France, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Russia, Australia, and the Mediterranean regions are the major producers of lavender essential oils. In South Africa, major lavender growing areas are the Western and Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Free State, Gauteng, Limpopo and Mpumalanga provinces.
Lavender Farming Economics Importance
Lavender is an important economic crop. However, proper marketing is essential to get the long-term success in lavender farming business. Generally, the common use of lavender is decoration. Additionally, there are other popular ways people use lavender. Some of the more popular ways include culinary, essential oil, U-pick and crafts. Oil production in the United States can not compete with wholesale markets such as Australia, New Zealand, and France.
Lavender flowers yield abundant nectar which yields high-quality honey for beekeepers. Lavender varietal honey is produced primarily in the nations around the Mediterranean and marketed worldwide as a premium product. Additionally, lavender candied lavender blossoms are essential items for cake decorations.
Furthermore, lavender has several medicinal properties. There are 30 different types of lavender oils and blends are traded on world markets.
Lavender Uses, Demand and Export Markets
The major market in the world for essential oils are the United States, followed by Japan and Europe. In the United States, the major users of essential oils are the soft drink companies. Japan accounts for 10 % of world demand. Generally, the United States perfume and flavoring industry dominate the Canadian market.
Lavender Farming Business Plan and Tips
It is important to draft and have a comprehensive lavender farming business plan in your hand. First of all, identify the land area. According to the land area and agroclimatic condition, choose the right lavender plant variety to farm. Additionally, do some market research. It is important to have a clear idea about the local demand for lavender and its adaptation.
Calculate the input cost. Generally, input cost includes the cost related to seeds, fertilizer, plant protection, equipment purchase including hiring and labor cost.
Additionally, you must have a marketing plan. If your lavender crop is marketed correctly then you are sure to see success. Advertising is a large part of a successful business.
Agroclimatic Condition For Lavender Farming
Lavender is a long-lived perennial, with a typical productive life of about 10 years. A mild winter and warm, sunny summers, is ideal for lavender production. Lavender needs full sun to do well, but not too much summer heat. A cold winter is also necessary to produce the best flower heads.
However, lavender can tolerate moderate frost and drought. Spike lavender cannot tolerate frost. All lavenders are sensitive to high humidity. High summer temperatures adversely affect oil quality. Lavender can produce well with an annual rainfall range of 300 to 1400 mm per year. Allow the soil to dry well between irrigations and do not over-irrigate.
Soil Condition For Lavender Farming
Lavender requires well-drained light, sandy, or sandy loam, or gravelly soils in full sun. You can also grow lavender in the low-fertility soils. However, you must maintain the soil pH between 5.8 and 8.3. Too moist soils will cause poor plant growth, diseases or kill the plant. English lavenders prefer alkaline soils, whereas the Lavandin varieties require slightly more acidic soils.
Equipments For Lavender Farming
You must arrange the required equipments for smooth and fatigue free lavender farming process. Generally you can get these equipments in the lease or you can purchase these equipments one by one gradually as you make profit. Additionally, the requirement of the equipment depends on the size of your farmland. However, here we are putting a basic equipment list.
- Bush Hog
- Drip Irrigation System
- String Trimmer
- Distillation Unit
- Other miscellaneous equipment.
Choose The Right Variety For Your Lavender Farm
Choosing the right lavender plant variety is one of the most important factors in the success of lavender farming business plan and tips.
There are 48 species of lavender with hundreds of various genotypes differentiated by variations ranging from growth form to chemical composition of the essential oil. However, there are three main species within the genus produce lavender essential oil.
- L. Angustifolia (True Lavender, English)
- L. Latifolia (Spika, broad leaves)
- L. Angustifolia x L. Latifolia (Lavandin)
Basically, you will need to select the variety according to the end-user. Several industries are the major consumers of the lavender stem, flowers and leaves.
In the operational aspects, you must provide the right irrigation, weeding, maturing, and plant protection routine practices to ensure your lavender plants grows very well.
Harvesting and Processing of Lavender farming
If you are growing the lavender for essential oils, then you must harvest the only developed flowers. Harvesting during a time of fine weather is crucial and recommended. Because free water in contact with the oil during the preheating stage of distillation reduces oil quality and extraction efficiency.
In addition, Very cold weather prevents the development of esters. After harvesting, you must dry the flowers. After grading and chemical composition, you can go for the oil distillation process. Essential oils are volatile and therefore you must handle them with care. Keep the oils in dark, air-tight glass bottles and do not expose to heat or heavy metals.
Marketing and Promote of Lavender farm Produce
You must promote your farm produce. According to your marketing plan, you can promote lavender flowers, dried flowers, and essential oil. Apart from concentrated essential oil, you can prepare some blends also. Additionally, pay attention to both B2B and B2C avenues. Tap the local market first. Additionally, you can also sell your products through online marketplaces.
If you live in an agroclimatic condition that allows lavenders to grow, then starting a lavender farm today, after doing your market feasibility study.You are not alone, lavender farming is a perfect business from you.
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