Disclaimer

This page and its content are for a mature reader keen to understanding various points of views to arrive at truth about stevia value addition chain. The objective is not to hurt any sentiments or be biased in favor of or against any particular person, society, agency, corporate body and government agency. In this article, we are not pointing finger to any particular person or agency.  The text does not portray any particular person alive or deceased and we do not have any intention of defaming anybody. 

The Stevia-scammers

In my career in Stevia value addition chain, I met several persons who are dedicatedly and honestly working for development of this sector and upliftment of the economic conditions of the farmers. But, to our dismay, all their excellent work is being undone by a group of corrupt people who claim themselves as Stevia leaf buyback agents. They often double as planting material seller and technical consultant for Stevia farming and rampantly cheat gullible farmers, start up entrepreneurs and sometimes large corporates.

 

I have coined a name for this group of people. I call them "Stevia-scammers" 

Stevia-scammers have done the greatest disservice to the stevia sector globally. Unsuspecting farmers and start-ups lost millions and got bankrupt by believing them. All these scams actually created a very wrong image of stevia as a crop. In India, some state government had to withdraw the subsidy on stevia farming because of misuse of subsidy money by these scam-schemes. 

 

Stevia scammers won peoples confidence by smooth talking, committing absurd returns from stevia cultivation ventures and providing "assured" buy back agreement. In turn, they reaped extraordinary profits by selling low quality planting materials at a very high price. They also offered bogus training and technical assistance and charged top dollars for that. 

 

I urge to all the stakeholders in stevia sector - to not to fall for these scammers. They CAN NOT lead to success through shorcuts.  

My satirical take on these con-artists is as follows -

These unscrupulous players have some unique methods for establishing their credentials.

Establishing innocent looking NGOs as a façade for their fraudulent operations. These NGOs are often used as funding-bait for government agencies.

Establishing bogus associations/ consortiums and remaining chairman emeritus of those bodies

Organizing phony seminars and exchanging awards with their cronies. These events are often sponsored by corporate bodies – with ulterior interests

Spreading false information through paid news in print, electronic and social media

Buying scrapped equipment from garage sales and cobbling together a delusive "Laboratory" 

Continuous dissemination of fake information through social networking sites. 

They often have strong political connections and are often seen standing close to politicians, ministers and high ranking government officials in media coverage of different public events.  

This political clout is often used to intimidate people, embezzle government funds and getting membership of government committees, 

Let us get acquainted with Dr. Stevia-scammer,

the greatest stevia wizard and darling of all penny stock crooks. 

Statutory warning: Please do not show undue curiosity about the source of the doctorate degree of Dr. Stevia-scammer. It may cause grievous bodily harm to you.  

"Stevia cultivation will make you rich overnight. Even if you do not have any previous experience about stevia, you should invest your last penny in it."

The most famous quote of Dr. Stevia-scammer.

Some of the great inventions of Dr. Stevia-scammer

Miracle varieties of stevia, which is supposed to yield more than 20% steviol glycosides, but, unfortunately, the plants die early in the field.  

Please do not ask for test reports on the leaf glycoside content for these varieties. Dr. Stevia-scammer does not believe in HPLC Assay. His words about the steviol glycoside content is sacrosanct and infallible  

Surefire formulae for fertilizers and pesticides. They may sometimes appear like marinade for mutton curry, sometimes they smell like devil's excrement, but they work like hell.  

Dr. Stevia_scammer is not always sure which of his formula works as pesticide and which one as fertilizer. The are often interchangeable. 

Dr. Stevia-scammer also own secret Stevia Extraction Facility - which is more secure than Area 51. In his extraction facility, presence of TSG in the leaves is not necessary for its extraction. It is real Hogworts staff. 

TISHU KALCHAR laboratory, tucked in some garage, from where he churns out stevia planting materials. This plants are prepared in test tubes by secret photoperiodic thermonuclear reactions. His laboratory can even put Hogwarts to shame  

Please do not ask how tissue cultured plants can go directly from lab to the field without any hardening in greenhouse. Dr. Stevia-scammer is not obliged to share all his secrets with you.

The Modus Occisio

My appeal

Stevia Farming is not for everyone. Success in commercial stevia farming necessitates lots of planning, pre-operative groundwork, effort and experience. Please do not fall prey to false promises and unproved theories. Do not put your entire hard-earned savings on stevia.

If you are really interested to become a stevia farmer/entrepreneur, start small……learn the tricks of business first and then gradually grow.

Dos and Don'ts for risk minimization in Stevia farming

You may disagree with some points in the post and you may have totally different opinion about the issues I tried to portray above. I, most sincerely request you to kindly put your opinion in the comments section below or write to me.

If you want to contribute additional points or share your own experience, kindly post that in the comments section, or write to me. Your contributions will be included in the next edition of this web page with statutory acknowledgement.