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How to Start a Microgreens Farming Business in India?


Microgreens Farming Business in India

Microgreens farming has gained immense popularity in recent years, especially in India, where people are increasingly becoming health-conscious and looking to incorporate nutritious foods into their diets. Microgreens are young, tender greens harvested at an early growth stage, typically between 7 to 21 days after germination. Packed with nutrients, vibrant colours, and intense flavours, microgreens are a delightful addition to culinary dishes and offer numerous health benefits. This comprehensive guide will explore what microgreen farming is all about and how to start a successful microgreen farming business in India.

What are Microgreens?

Microgreens are essentially the seedlings of vegetables and herbs harvested at a very early growth stage. These tiny greens are more mature than sprouts but smaller than baby greens. They are known for their concentrated nutrient content, including vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Despite their small size, microgreens pack a powerful punch when it comes to flavour and nutritional value.

Popular Microgreens Varieties

  1. Broccoli: Rich in sulforaphane, known for its anti-cancer properties.
  2. Kale: Packed with vitamins A, C, and K, as well as calcium and iron.
  3. Radish: Offers a spicy kick and is a good source of vitamin C.
  4. Sunflower: High in protein, healthy fats, and vitamin E.
  5. Pea Shoots: They contain good fibre, vitamin A, and vitamin C.
  6. Cilantro (Coriander): Adds a fresh, citrusy flavour and is rich in antioxidants.

Why Start a Microgreens Farming Business?

Increasing Demand for Healthy Foods: As more people become health-conscious and prioritise a nutrient-rich diet, the demand for microgreens has steadily risen. Microgreens are versatile and can be incorporated into salads, sandwiches, smoothies, and other dishes, making them a sought-after ingredient for health-conscious consumers.

Fast Growth and High-Profit Margins: One of the key advantages of microgreens farming is the short growth cycle. Most microgreens are ready for harvest within two to three weeks, allowing for multiple harvests in a short period. This rapid turnover translates to a quicker return on investment and higher profit margins than traditional crops.

Low Initial Investment and Space Requirements: Microgreens can be cultivated in a relatively small space, making them suitable for urban farming or small-scale agriculture. Additionally, the initial investment for starting a microgreens farm is relatively low compared to larger-scale agricultural ventures, making it an accessible option for aspiring entrepreneurs.

Key Steps Before You Starting a Microgreens Farming

Starting a microgreens farming venture involves several key steps to ensure success. Here’s a guide to help you get started:

  1. Research and Education:

    • Learn about Microgreens: Understand what microgreens are, their varieties, and the specific requirements for growing them.
    • Market Research: Identify potential customers, understand market demand, and assess competitors.
  2. Create a Business Plan:

    • Define Goals: Clearly outline your short-term and long-term goals for the microgreens farm.
    • Financial Planning: Estimate startup costs, operational expenses, and potential revenue. Create a budget and financial projections.
    • Marketing Strategy: Develop a plan for promoting and selling your microgreens. Consider online platforms, local markets, or partnerships with restaurants.
  3. Choose Suitable Microgreen Varieties:

    • Consider Market Demand: Select microgreen varieties based on customer preferences and market trends.
    • Diversify: Offer a variety of microgreens to appeal to different tastes and preferences.
  4. Secure a Suitable Location:

    • Indoor vs. Outdoor: Decide whether you want to grow microgreens indoors or outdoors, considering factors like climate, space, and resource availability.
    • Space Planning: Plan the layout of your farm, optimizing space for efficient cultivation.
  5. Invest in Quality Equipment and Supplies:

    • Growing Medium: Choose a suitable growing medium such as soil, coconut coir, or hydroponic systems.
    • Trays and Containers: Invest in trays, containers, and other equipment needed for planting, growing, and harvesting microgreens.
    • Lighting: If growing indoors, invest in appropriate lighting systems to ensure optimal growth.
  6. Set Up a Sustainable Irrigation System:

    • Water Management: Establish a reliable and efficient watering system to maintain consistent moisture levels.
    • Automation: Consider automated irrigation systems to save time and ensure proper watering.
  7. Obtain Necessary Permits and Licenses:

    • Check Local Regulations: Research and comply with local regulations regarding farming, food safety, and business licensing.
  8. Source Quality Seeds:

    • Seed Selection: Choose high-quality, organic seeds from reputable suppliers.
    • Testing: Conduct germination tests to ensure the viability of the seeds.
  9. Implement Good Agricultural Practices (GAP):

    • Hygiene and Sanitation: Maintain a clean and sanitary growing environment to prevent contamination.
    • Pest and Disease Management: Develop strategies for pest control and disease prevention.
  10. Develop a Harvesting and Packaging System:

    • Timing: Learn the optimal time to harvest each microgreen variety for the best flavour and nutritional content.
    • Packaging: Invest in packaging that keeps microgreens fresh and attractive.
  11. Build a Distribution Network:

    • Establish Connections: Develop relationships with local markets, restaurants, and potential customers.
    • Delivery Logistics: Plan for efficient delivery or distribution methods.
  12. Track and Evaluate Performance:

    • Record Keeping: Maintain detailed records of your farming operations, expenses, and sales.
    • Continuous Improvement: Regularly assess and adjust your strategies based on feedback and performance data.

Space Requirements & Growing Method for Microgreens Farming

The space requirements and growing methods for microgreens farming can vary based on factors such as the scale of your operation, the varieties of microgreens you plan to grow, and whether you’re cultivating them indoors or outdoors. Here’s a general guide to help you understand the key considerations:

Space Requirements:

1. Indoor Microgreens Farming:

  • Small Scale (Home or Small Business):
    • Space: A small area like a countertop or shelf.
    • Lighting: LED grow lights can be placed above trays.
    • Equipment: Trays, containers, and a controlled environment.
  • Medium to Large Scale:
    • Space: Dedicated rooms or controlled environments like greenhouses.
    • Lighting: High-quality LED or fluorescent grow lights.
    • Equipment: Shelves, racks, trays, and automated systems.

2. Outdoor Microgreens Farming:

  • Small Scale (Backyard or Balcony):
    • Space: Containers or small garden beds.
    • Lighting: Natural sunlight.
    • Protection: Consider shade cloth or covers to protect from extreme weather.
  • Medium to Large Scale:
    • Space: Larger garden beds or fields.
    • Lighting: Relies on natural sunlight.
    • Protection: Considerations for weather, pests, and birds.

Growing Methods:

1. Soil-based Cultivation:

  • Growing Medium: Use a high-quality potting mix or soilless mix.
  • Containers: Trays or shallow containers with drainage.
  • Process:
    • Fill trays with the growing medium.
    • Sow seeds evenly.
    • Water and cover with a thin layer of soil.
    • Provide proper lighting and moisture.

2. Hydroponic Cultivation:

  • Growing Medium: Nutrient-rich water solution.
  • Containers: Trays with a system for nutrient circulation.
  • Process:
    • Sow seeds on a growing medium (e.g., coco coir).
    • Place trays in a system with a constant nutrient solution.
    • Control temperature, humidity, and light.

3. Coco Coir or Peat-based Cultivation:

  • Growing Medium: Coco coir or peat-based mats.
  • Containers: Trays or racks with proper drainage.
  • Process:
    • Lay down the coco coir or peat mats.
    • Sow seeds evenly on the mats.
    • Water and provide necessary lighting.

General Tips:

  1. Temperature and Humidity: Maintain optimal temperature and humidity levels for the specific microgreens you are growing.
  2. Lighting: Ensure adequate and appropriate lighting, especially if growing indoors. LED grow lights are commonly used for microgreens.
  3. Watering: Avoid overwatering or underwatering. Consistent moisture is crucial for successful microgreens cultivation.
  4. Ventilation: Provide proper air circulation, especially indoors, to prevent mould or fungal growth.
  5. Harvesting: Harvest microgreens at the right stage to ensure the best flavour, texture, and nutritional content.

Materials and Equipment Required for Large-Scale Microgreens Farming

Large-scale microgreen farming requires careful planning and the right materials and equipment to ensure successful cultivation. Here’s a list of essential materials and equipment for large-scale microgreens farming:

1. Growing Trays: Shallow trays with drainage holes to hold the growing medium and microgreens.

2. Growing Medium: Soilless mix or a medium specifically designed for microgreens.

3. Seeds: High-quality microgreen seeds suitable for large-scale production.

4. Watering System: A drip irrigation system or soaker hoses will ensure consistent and efficient watering.

5. Greenhouse or Growing Space: A controlled environment protecting microgreens from extreme weather conditions and pests.

6. Lighting: High-intensity lights (LEDs or fluorescents) to provide consistent and controlled light for optimal growth.

7. Ventilation System: Adequate ventilation to maintain air circulation and prevent diseases.

8. Temperature and Humidity Control: Heating and cooling systems to regulate temperature and humidity within the ideal range for microgreens.

9. Shelving or Racks: Sturdy shelving or racks to organize trays and maximize vertical growing space.

10. pH Testing Kit: Kit to monitor and adjust the pH of the growing medium for optimal nutrient absorption.

11. Fertilizers: Microgreens-specific fertilizers or nutrient solutions provide essential nutrients for growth.

12. Pest Control Supplies: Organic pesticides or beneficial insects to control pests without harming the microgreens.

13. Harvesting Tools: Sharp scissors or a harvesting knife for efficient and clean harvesting.

14. Packaging Materials: Packaging materials such as clamshells or trays for selling and transporting microgreens.

15. Record-Keeping System: A system for tracking planting dates, varieties, and other important information for better management.

16. Workbench or Potting Bench: A designated space for preparing trays, sowing seeds, and other tasks.

17. Water Storage and Filtration: Adequate water storage and a filtration system to ensure a clean water supply.

18. Safety Gear: Protective gear such as gloves and masks, especially when handling fertilizers or pesticides.

19. Seed Storage: Proper storage containers keep seeds viable and contamination-free.

20. Waste Disposal System: An efficient system for disposing of plant waste and maintaining a clean growing environment.

Steps to Start a Microgreens Farming Business in India

1. Research and Planning

Before diving into microgreens farming, conduct thorough research to understand the market demand, preferred varieties, and potential competition. Create a detailed business plan outlining your goals, target market, pricing strategy, and marketing approach. Consider location, climate, and available resources when planning your microgreens farm.

2. Choose the Right Microgreens Varieties

Selecting the right microgreen varieties is crucial for the success of your business. Consider factors such as flavour, colour, and nutritional content, and cater to the preferences of your target market. Experiment with various seeds to offer your customers a diverse range of microgreens.

3. Set Up Your Microgreens Farm

Choose a suitable location for your microgreen farm. While you can start small with trays on a windowsill or a balcony, consider scaling up as your business grows. Ensure that the chosen location receives adequate sunlight, or invest in artificial lighting to facilitate the growth of your microgreens.

4. Source Quality Seeds and Growing Medium

Invest in high-quality seeds from reputable suppliers to ensure a successful harvest. Choose a nutrient-rich growing medium such as coconut coir or potting mix to provide the necessary support and nutrients for your microgreens.

5. Implement a Sustainable Growing System

Consider implementing sustainable farming practices to reduce environmental impact and appeal to eco-conscious consumers. Explore options such as organic farming, water-saving irrigation systems, and composting to make your microgreen farming business environmentally friendly.

6. Establish a Harvesting and Packaging Process

Develop a systematic approach to harvesting and packaging your microgreens. Harvest the greens at the peak of their nutritional value and freshness. Use clean and eco-friendly packaging to maintain the quality of your microgreens and attract environmentally conscious consumers.

7. Develop Marketing Strategies

Create a strong online presence through a website and social media platforms to showcase your microgreens and reach a wider audience. Consider collaborating with local restaurants, farmers’ markets, and health food stores to expand your market reach. Implement effective marketing strategies to highlight your microgreens’ nutritional benefits and culinary versatility.

8. Comply with Regulations

Familiarize yourself with local regulations and certifications related to agriculture and food production. Ensure your microgreens farming business complies with safety and quality standards to build customer trust.

9. Continuous Learning and Improvement

Stay updated on the latest trends and developments in microgreens farming. Attend workshops, webinars, and conferences to enhance your knowledge and skills. Continuously experiment with new varieties and growing techniques to improve the quality of your microgreens.

Registrations and Licenses Required:

  1. Business Registration: Register your microgreens farming business as a sole proprietorship, partnership, or private limited company. This step is essential for legal recognition and tax purposes.
  2. FSSAI License: Obtain a Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) license. This is mandatory for anyone involved in the manufacturing, processing, packaging, storage, transportation, and distributing food products, including microgreens.
  3. GST Registration: Register for Goods and Services Tax (GST) as microgreens are considered agricultural produce and fall under the GST. GST registration is necessary for the smooth operation of your business and compliance with tax regulations.
  4. NOC from Local Authorities: Obtain a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from local authorities, confirming that your microgreens farming activities comply with zoning and land-use regulations.
  5. Organic Certification (Optional): If you grow organic microgreens, consider obtaining organic certification from relevant authorities. This certification enhances the market value of your produce, especially among health-conscious consumers.
  6. Water and Environmental Clearances: Ensure compliance with water usage and environmental regulations. Obtain clearances from relevant authorities to prevent legal complications in the future.

Challenges and Considerations

While microgreen farming offers numerous benefits, it’s essential to be aware of potential challenges:

Seasonal Variations: Microgreen farming can be affected by seasonal variations and changes in weather conditions. Consider implementing greenhouse or indoor farming techniques to overcome these challenges and ensure a consistent supply of microgreens.

Pest and Disease Management: Like any other form of agriculture, microgreen farming is susceptible to pests and diseases. Implement effective pest management strategies, such as companion planting or natural predators, to minimize the use of pesticides and maintain the health of your microgreens.

Market Competition: As the popularity of microgreens grows, so does the competition. Differentiate your business by offering unique varieties, emphasizing sustainability, and providing exceptional customer service to stand out in the market.

Top 10 Most Popular Microgreens in India

Top ten microgreens that are generally popular and commonly cultivated in India:

  1. Mustard Microgreens (Brassica juncea): These have a peppery flavour and are commonly used in Indian cuisine.
  2. Radish Microgreens (Raphanus sativus): Radish microgreens have a spicy kick and add vibrant colour to dishes.
  3. Fenugreek Microgreens (Trigonella foenum-graecum): Fenugreek microgreens have a slightly bitter taste and are often used in salads and garnishes.
  4. Coriander Microgreens (Coriandrum sativum): Coriander microgreens have the same aromatic flavour as mature coriander and are used in various Indian dishes.
  5. Sunflower Microgreens (Helianthus annuus): They have a mild, nutty flavour and are popular for their crunchy texture.
  6. Basil Microgreens (Ocimum basilicum): Basil microgreens have a concentrated basil flavour and are commonly used in salads, sandwiches, and garnishes.
  7. Cilantro Microgreens (Coriandrum sativum): Cilantro microgreens offer a milder version of the mature herb and are used in various dishes.
  8. Amaranth Microgreens (Amaranthus spp.): Amaranth microgreens have a mild, earthy taste and are known for their nutritional value.
  9. Pea Shoots Microgreens (Pisum sativum): Pea shoots have a sweet, pea-like flavour and are popular in salads and stir-fries.
  10. Spinach Microgreens (Spinacia oleracea): They are rich in nutrients and have a mild spinach flavour, making them versatile for various dishes.

How to Sell Microgreens in India?

Selling microgreens in India involves planning, marketing, and networking. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you sell microgreens in the Indian market:

  1. Understand the Market: Research the demand for microgreens in your region of India. Identify potential customers such as local markets, grocery stores, restaurants, and health food stores.
  2. Comply with Regulations: Check local regulations and requirements for selling fresh produce. This may include obtaining necessary licenses or certifications.
  3. Quality Assurance: Ensure high-quality production using quality seeds, a clean growing environment, and proper cultivation practices. This will contribute to the overall success of your microgreens business.
  4. Packaging: Invest in attractive and functional packaging for your microgreens. Packaging should protect the product during transportation and maintain freshness.
  5. Build Relationships with Local Businesses: Approach local grocery stores, health food stores, and restaurants to inquire about selling your microgreens. Establish relationships with chefs and buyers interested in incorporating fresh microgreens into their dishes.
  6. Participate in Farmers’ Markets: Farmers’ markets are a great platform to directly connect with consumers. Set up a stall at local markets to showcase and sell your microgreens. Use signage and promotional materials to attract attention.
  7. Online Presence: Create a website or use social media platforms to showcase your microgreens. Provide information about your products, growing practices, and contact details. Consider setting up online sales and delivery services.
  8. Educate Consumers: Microgreens may be a relatively new concept for some consumers. Educate potential customers about microgreens’ nutritional benefits, versatility, and usage. Consider providing recipes or cooking tips.
  9. Offer Samples: Customers can sample your microgreens at markets or through local partnerships. This can help overcome any scepticism and encourage purchases.
  10. Price Competitively: Research the pricing of microgreens in your area and set competitive prices. Consider the cost of production, packaging, and transportation when determining your pricing strategy.
  11. Delivery Services: If feasible, offer a delivery service to customers who may prefer to bring microgreens directly to their doorstep.
  12. Customer Feedback: Encourage feedback from customers to understand preferences and make any necessary improvements. Positive reviews can also be used for marketing purposes.
  13. Network with Other Growers: Connect with other microgreens growers in your area. They may provide valuable insights, support, or even collaborative opportunities.
  14. Stay Informed: Stay updated on market trends, new varieties of microgreens, and evolving consumer preferences. This will help you adapt and stay competitive.


Starting a microgreens farming business in India involves careful planning, adherence to regulations, and a commitment to quality. With the right processes in place and support from services like Kanakkupillai, entrepreneurs can navigate the complexities of business registration, licensing, and compliance, setting the foundation for a successful and sustainable microgreens farming venture. As the demand for fresh, nutritious produce continues to rise, the microgreens market in India presents a promising opportunity for agricultural entrepreneurs willing to embark on this green journey.


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