Vanilla farming profit per acre in India | Saffron farming profit per acre

Today, I will help you to gather info about top 2 high-value crops in India. These crops performs well worldwide and immensely grown in Madagascar. Saffron farming in world has huge market.

Vanilla farming profit per acre in India

800 to 900 vanilla cuttings can be planted in 1 acre of land
price of 1 kg vanilla varies between Rs 4k (minimum), Rs 28k (last year), Rs 40k (2021)
2 plant produces 1000 gram vanilla beans & 1000 grams = 1 kg
800 plants = 400 kg
400 kg x Rs 4000 = 16 lakh (1 acre). 

I have calculated it with minimum value you can put other values and calculate for some extraordinary numbers. 

Vanilla farming in India 

Vanilla is the secound most expensive spice after saffron. Globally its 3 major species are grown: V. 1. V.planifolia 2. V pompona 3. V tahitensis. Among these species V planifolia species is more popular in the whole world. Planifolia species is commonly known as Bourbon vanilla it is also known as Madagascar vanilla. 

Madagascar is the world's secound largest island country and top producer of vanilla hence, named Madagascar vanilla. This plant grows with the support of bark of trees therefore it is a tropical climbing vine of the orchid family with pleasant flavor.

1st vanilla yield is obtained after 3 years of plating and continues till 14 more years. The vanilla vines can be grown in greenhouse even in pots and containers thus vanilla is indoor crop as well. 

It is also grown hydroponically. Direct sunlight is not good for them they prefers shade hence grown under shade net. India is way behind in export and production of it. only 2 % of vanilla is being exported by India. Vanilla farming in Maharashtra is done widely. Karnataka is on 1st position in vanilla cultivation followed by Kerala and Tamil Nadu states. 

Overall vanilla requires humid climate and shade, moderate temperatures. Due to shade factor and 3 years long growing time vanilla is grown as an intercrop in the field of coconut and other taller trees. 

Saffron farming in India

Saffron is commonly known as saffron crocus and it is the worlds most expensive spice and holds top position. Saffron belongs to the family of "Iradaceae" and commercial part of it is stigma. Saffron is originated in Iran but it is not confirmed yet because Greece and Mesopotamia were also been suggested for the origin of the species. It is well known as red gold. 

Height of saffron plant is 15 to 20 cm it is a bulbous, perennial with globular corms. This red gold plant is native to Europe and grown in Austria, France, England, Greece, Iran, Turkey, Spain. In India it is mainly cultivated in Jammu & Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh. 

kesar vs saffron

Kesar vs gold price - Saffron is the most expensive spice in the whole world hence compared with gold. It is honored as gold among spices.

Earlier, saffron farming in Kashmir was popular due to the suitable whether but now a days some big farmers are trying its farming in Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh and UP.  

Vanilla and Saffron cultivation

Best climate for vanilla bean- Vanilla grows well in warm and humid condition and temperature range 25° C to 34° C is best for vanilla cultivation. Rainfall of 150 to 350 cm is required for this crop. It prefers shade and grows well under filtered light.

Vanilla farming profit in India is huge and depends on suitable climate.

Saffron cultivation climate - Saffron grows well in subtropical climate and twelve hours sunlight is required for the crop. Spring season appreciates blooming saffron flowers hence improves the production.

Soil required

Soil for Vanilla - PH range 6.5 to 7.5 is required. It grows well in loose soil with loamy texture. It requires rich organic soil for better yield. 

Soil for Saffron- It grows good in loamy and sandy soil hence prefers acidic soil. It requires well drained soil, PH6 to PH8 is good for saffron farming.

Land preparation

Vanilla - Use plough to maintain the level of soil and remove weeds for better growth of the crop. Use organic manure such as cow dung and use of vermicomposting is good for rich results.

Vanilla is a climbing tree in initial days like dragon fruit tree hence vanilla vines need support so arrange rock pillars, iron pillars but natural living tree can give best support with shade which is always required by vanilla crop.

Saffron- Process is same use plough to maintain the soil level and soil loosening is required before planting any crop for better growth. Remove weed, and land should be filled with organic matter and for best natural organic matter one should use cow dung it will be better to use cow dung along with vermicomposting. 

Propagation, planting and spacing in vanilla  cultivation

Spacing and planting in vanilla cultivation - On an average 2000 plants can be planted in 1 hectare land. All vanilla plant need to grow under 50 % shade. While planting in greenhouse cuttings between 60 and 120 cm should be selected.

For planting material use unflowered portion of the vine. Prepare pits of 30 x 30 x 30 cm dug 30 cm away from the tree and fill with vermicompost, soil mix and sand. Note, prune at least 4 leaves before planting the cutting from the base then press the pruned leaves into the soil.

The vanilla crop is propagated by shoot cuttings and seeds. Cutting method is more popular among domestic and commercial cultivation. Seed method takes much more time to deliver results. In cutting method there are two types of cuttings, longer and shorter cuttings. Longer cuttings grows in 2nd year but growth is slow as compare to shorter cuttings however, shorter cuttings takes 3 years to grow. So wisely make your choice while planting the cuttings. 

As vanilla vines need support to grow so provide support like pillars, wooden sticks, trees, poles and try to use natural fibre for tithing; hemp or banana fibres. Two plants should be planted around one pole. Five year old vine can produce 2 to 3 kg of pods after few years this production can increase up to 6 kg.

Read more - mango grafting techniques

Propagation, planting and spacing in saffron cultivation

crocus saffron

kesar ki kheti-  Picture credit goes to

Saffron corms need to be planted at 12 to 15 cm deep by maintaining 10 to 12 cm spacing between them. Saffron corms follows multiplication method while growing from one year to another year 1 corm gets 5 corms after three years. The best planting season for saffron begins from June to Sep and flowering starts in october. Irrigation is not required in this farming. 

Weed control in saffron farming is necessary for better growth and elastic results. You can use mulching technique which is very popular for weed controlling. Weedicides is one more option for checking the complete weed in the saffron farm.

Fertilizer in saffron farming- Before planting farmer should apply at least 30-35 tonnes of decomposed farm yard manure. Use the formula of NPK but in organic way for better health results. To know more about organic NPK visit my other post. You can take this ratio as well 20 kg N, P-30 kg, P-80 kg per ha and repeat the same quantity after flowering as well. 

Pests and disease in saffron cultivation -

Main three diseases occurs in saffron farming they are fusarium, Rhizoctonia crocorum and root rot that is also called violet root rot. Do not use the same land for at least 7 to 9 years. Prepare fencing to avoid animal damage. To avoid these problem people are using saffron farming in green house india. Greenhouse formula is specially implemented by the farmers who are doing saffron farming in maharashtra.

Pests and disease control in vanilla cultivation

Caterpillar - One of the most common insect trying to fill their stomach by damaging your crop. Leaves and stems are their favourite dish. Need to eye on that and destroy all insects.

Vanilla vine weevil - These insects are habitual of eating leaves and tender stems. Need to  destroy them in the adult stage that is nov to Feb month. White grubs and Achatina are some other insects that can damage your plant so get ready and prepare a good strategy while growing saffron. 

vanilla flower

Vanilla bug - Responsible for root rot by making extra ordinary efforts of sucking the sap from buds. You need to collect the egg mass in early stage starting from nov to Feb.

Beetle - Duty of these insects is to eat the lower part of the leaves of your plant. Use of malathion can help to control this damage.

Harvesting vanilla crop 

Harvesting vanilla fruit is labour intensive moreover, each fruit ripens at its own time which results daily harvesting. After 2.5-3 year duration and when pollination plus manuring is done vanilla beans takes only 6 weeks to obtain full size and 8 months to achieve full maturity.

Vanilla gets ready for harvesting after 6 months of flowering stage. Need to start harvesting process when the distal ends turns pale yellow in colour.

Curing consists of four basic steps killing, sweating, slow drying and conditioning are few different stages to get the final product. 

  • Killing - The vegetative tissue of the vanilla pod is killed to stop the vegetative growth of the pods this is method is processed to produce aroma. Vanilla beans is being dipped in hot water for 4 to 5 minutes.
  • Sweating - This practice is done for 7-10 days in this process beans were spread in sunlight for 2 hours. 
  • Drying - This process is done for the period of 1 month in this process beans were spread in a room on wooden rack with passing fresh air. 
  • Conditioning - This is grand finale stage in which dried vanilla's were bundled and covered by special paper i.e. butter paper and placed in wooden boxes for 5-6 months.

Vanilla yield quality

The vanilla fruit is divided in 3 categories. 

1st quality - Fruit more than 15 cm in length. In this category fruit lies between 16 cm to 21 cm, 21 cm vanilla fruits are usually reserved for vanilla market.

2nd quality - Fruit lies between 10 to 15 cm long. 

3rd quality - Fruits less than 10 cm falls under the third category fruit. 

Read this rare fruit - Kafal fruit 

Grade A 

Grade 1

15 cm & more

100 to 120 fruits per pound

A Grade fruits were also called Gourmet or Prime. They contains 30-35 % moisture. 

Grade B

Grade 2

10 cm to 15 cm 

140 to 160 fruits per pound

Also called Extract fruits. 15 to 25 % moisture content.

Grade C

Grade 3

10 cm

A Grade fruits were also called Gourmet or Prime. They contains 30-35 % moisture. 

Saffron harvesting

Due to labor intensive harvesting methods : about 2 lakh saffron stigmas need to be picked by hands from 70 k crocus flowers for each 1 pound of saffron product almost 40 hours of labors needed for this activity.  You can get free Saffron images from unsplash.

According to experts the high labor intensive harvesting method is the top reason for the high retail value of saffron in the world market.  

One should start harvesting when flowers seems in full blooming stage early morning picking is the best time. 

Yield of saffron - 1 gram dried saffron is made by 150-160 saffron flowers. While first year plantation 60-64 % corms will produce one flower but next year each corm will produce about 2 flowers. 

Read this also - kandali plant farming/stinging nettle farming


Each flower should be hand pollinated with 12 hours of opening. Flowering takes place in spring season and pollination becomes necessary at that time because without pollination blossom wits and falls which results no vanilla bean grown.

Orchid bees likes to carry vanilla pollen but success rate is only 1 % therefore all vanilla plants are pollinated by hands. Artificial pollination is done by pointed bamboo splinter or a sharpen tooth pick to get fruit set.

vanilla pollination bee

The best time of pollination is 7 am to 12 pm. One skilled worker can pollinate around 1k to 2k flowers per day. 


According to Wikipedia Madagascar with 41% is worldwide top producer of vanilla followed by Indonesia 

  1. Madagascar - 3,102 tonnes.
  2. Indonesia - 2,259 tonnes.
  3. Mexico - 495 tonnes.
  4. Papua New Guinea - 493 tonnes.
  5. Read this - Hemp license approval.

The price of vanilla keeps fluctuating. According to dated March 11 2021 vanilla price has reached up to Rs 40 thousand per kg as compared to last years Rs 28,000

Uses of Vanilla - Vanilla is widely used in commercial sector, 4 types are quite popular.

  1.  Whole pod.
  2.  Powder (blended with sugar, starch and some more ingredients).
  3.  Extract (alcoholic solutions).
  4.  Vanilla sugar (mix of sugar and vanilla extract).

Vanilla Rum of Madagascar is popular in the whole world. Vanilla ice-cream is all time favourite of all of us.

Saffron Price - Kesar Price

1 gram of saffron price is Rs 225 in local market but this is not the fix price shopkeeper told me if you will buy 10 gram saffron then he may reduce price so price was not fix in the market.

10 gram saffron price is between Rs 1600 to 2000 according to the variety. While asking about 100 gram kesar price he offered me 100 gram saffron price between Rs 18,000 to 20,000 according to the variety some were Kashmiri kesar and some were having some other brand name.


Where the Kashmir saffron is exported in the world?

Indian saffron or Kashmir saffron export majorly takes place in countries like America, New Zeeland, Canada, Belgium and bay of Bengal. 

What is the saffron production per hectare in India?

In India saffron is cultivated in 5000 hectare area. According to Jammu Kashmir agriculture department 17 metric ton saffron is being produced per year in the state. In Jammu Kashmir nearly 16,000 farmer families are connected to the saffron farming. Nearly 3500 hectare kesar farming is being done in the state at the present time and around 32,000 farmers are employed with this cultivation. 

Where Kesar cultivated in Jammu and Kashmir?

In India saffron is majorly cultivated in Jammu kashmir including 4 districts Pulwama, Srinagar, kishtwar and Budgam. Jammu and Kashmir produces 12 meter ton kesar. 

How long does saffron take to grow?

Saffron crop takes 6 months to grow mature. Generally saffron cultivation is started in May and gets ready till october month. 

How much saffron flowers are used to produce 1 kg saffron?

1 lakh 60,000 saffron flowers are able to produce 1 kg saffron.

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