Serving Well in Meghalaya through Agro Produce

S Maxwell Lyngdoh
Shillong, Aug 16: Wanlambok Pohlong believes that dreams are for chasing until they are achieved. This, he has made it a reality when he initiated ServeWell Agro Solution in 2014. Pohlong completed his MBA from SIBM, Pune and was placed in Oracle India. Just as he thought, he was set with his career goals, his journey in the company made him feel a disconnect as he was not able to sync with the organization’s vision and mission.
During his free time at Oracle, he had read about polyhouses and modern methods of irrigation. His curiosity grew and this made him research further. After about a year with Oracle, he quit and joined Zopar in Shillong. In due course, he was made in charge of the farm in Umsaitsning and projects in Ri Bhoi District. There he learnt the grassroots skills to handle projects and since then, there was no looking back.
ServeWell was a name chosen by his mother. It got stronger with every project and its aim right from the time it was conceptualized was to broaden a complete spectrum in the field of Agriculture/Horticulture and allied services. Their projects include Land Development/Landscape, Installation of Polyhouse and Drip Irrigation systems, Cultivation of cut flower and vegetables, Plant and Pest Management, Installation of Cold Rooms and PUF Instant Pack House and managing Turnkey Projects. They provide a friendly and professional approach, focused on customer service and attention to detail. With deeper knowledge of the products and experienced personnel, they have continuously striven to set high standards of services.
It may be mentioned that ServeWell Agro Solution with its head office at Nongthymmai, Shillong is an approved supplier registered with the Horticulture/Agriculture Departments of Meghalaya State. Their Products and Services include 1. Low Cost to High Tech Polyhouse/Polytunnels, Net House, Rooftop Polyhouse, Fan and Pad Polyhouse including Drip Irrigation and accessories. The fabrication unit cum go down is located at Umsaitsning, Umsning, Ri–Bhoi District. 2. Cold Chain solutions, Modular Construction, Insulated Roofing, Shelters and Kiosk. 3. Horticulture crops: Supply of Flower plants and bulbs, (Gerbera, Carnation, Alstromeria, Roses, Strawberries etc), Vegetable seeds and seedlings, Fruit trees saplings etc. 4. Food Processing Machines. 5. Organic manure and fertilizers: Neem Based Organic Fertilizers, Plant Growth Bio Stimulants, Bio Fertilizer, Botanical Pesticide. 6. Agri Tools and Implements (Pruners, Secateurs, Sprayerer, watering cans etc.).
To provide better services to customers, ServeWell Agro Solution, Meghalaya has partnered with renowned private companies such as the Rinac India Pvt.Ltd, Bangalore, Promethean Spenta Power Systems, Pune, Nico Orgo, Dakor and Clover Organic, Dehradun, The Scientific Apparatus Company, Kolkatta, Tradeline Corporation, Guwahati, Real Trust Exim Corporation, Pune and the Jain Irrigation Systems Ltd. Amongst the major Projects that ServeWell Agro Solution, Meghalaya have taken up, some of the prominent ones include the following.
VCM – The Vertical Column Method for pepper propagation was a project initiated by the Department of Horticulture, Nongpoh, Ri Bhoi District, Meghalaya. Under the leadership of Mr K B Lakiang (ADH), (RKVY 17-18) at the department’s farm at Byrnihat, a total of 15,000 peppers cuttings have been harvested. It was contracted to ServeWell Agro Solution and got completed in January 2019. The work involved the construction of a 1000 sqm Naturally Ventilated Polyhouse with overhead misting/fogging systems, vertical columns made of a GI coated mesh and ground cover. These columns were filled with a mixture of coco peat and vermicompost, treated with Trichoderma, 10 pepper seedlings were placed around the columns and were allowed to grow on the columns, after reaching a certain stage, the pepper cuttings were harvested and transplanted to grow bags which were then sold/distributed to the farmer.
Another major project is the Low-Cost Hydroponic Green Fodder at Fernando Dairy Co-operative Society, Nongdeingngan, Umsning. A low-cost polyhouse (24 sqm) was constructed by ServeWell Agro Solution with racking systems for 200 green fodder trays with drip irrigation. This project was initiated by East Khasi Hills District Cooperative Milk Union Lt. as a demonstration unit for low-cost green fodder. 200 individual emitters were installed above each tray to provide water to the maize, wheat, etc that were kept on the trays. Fresh succulents can be harvested every 8 to 10 days and fed to dairy animals. In this, only water was used.
The third major project by ServeWell Agro Solution is the Portable Irrigation System at Raj Bhavan, Shillong. This was done through the Meghalaya Basin Development Authority, MINR, Shillong. Since the lawn at Raj Bhavan is also being used for official gatherings/meetings, it was necessary to use portable irrigation for the lawn. In this, the idea was in using three portable tripods fitted with overhead sprinklers connected by a hosepipe with was then connected to a supply line using a quick coupling valve (QCV). These QCVs (A total of 4) were positioned at intervals, once one portion of the lawn is irrigated, the tripods are shifted to the next QCV, this process is continued for the remaining QCV or until the entire lawn is irrigated. Once irrigation is completed, the tripods along with the hose are removed and then stored in the godown.
The fourth project is the Cold Room at Williamnagar. This project was initiated by the DHO, East Garo Hills, 2019. The cold room (3 MT) for vegetable storage was constructed at the farmers market at Mandalagre Hub. Other projects include the 320 sqm naturally ventilated polyhouse at Nongpoh, a project initiated by (L) Dr J Sailo for growing vegetables. Then there is the 1000 sqm naturally ventilated polyhouse with drip irrigation for Gerberas. This includes providing 1-year technical support; training of staff posted there on PHM (Post-harvest management), Fertigation methods for flowers and Pest Management. This project was initiated by Mr Raj Gatphoh. Lastly, another project which deserves a mention is the dendrobium project which measures 1000 sqm with PHM facilities (grading hall, 3 mt cold room etc) at Bio Resources Development Center, (BRDC) Laitmynsaw, Upper Shillong.
Pohlong who started this Organization at the age of 32 wishes to mentioned that his greatest supporters through this journey have been his parents and siblings and his associates Sura Brata Dutt and Leonardo Lyngdoh. One of the main challenges even after many years of operation are financial constraints and limited resources (skills, human resources etc.), and not receiving much support from the government. On a positive note, Pohlong hopes that the Organization will be better in the coming years.
With an ambitious mind, Pohlong has many plans line-up for the future. He intends to start a vegetable farm with livestock, a training institute, a tissue culture lab/propagation unit and lastly to be a provider from farm to plate. Meghalaya and North East India, needs many aspiring and young minds to come forward and share their ideas and plans like Pohlong has done over the years, and in the long run, be able to make a sustainable contribution towards a healthy and hygienic agricultural produce for the community at large. In the words of Masanobu Fukuoka – “When it is understood that one loses joy and happiness in the attempt to possess them, the essence of natural farming will be realized. The ultimate goal of farming is not the growing of crops, but the cultivation and perfection of human beings”.
(The writer can be reached at maxwell.lyngdoh@gmail.com)