Advice for a newbie


I live in Nashik Mahrashtra. I have a land of 3 acres in nearby area of Nashik.
I am enthusiastic to do farming on the land but being a novice, I need advise from some experts for myself.

Which type of farming would be best for me, considering I have never done that earlier.

Instead of usual crops like maze,onion etc, I am willing for something like cocoa, mango. These just came to my mind as I won’t be able to supply enough money for greenhouse/polyhouse.

Any advise would be most helpful.

Thanks in advance.

Are you a full time farmer?

what type of soil do you have? what is your water source? If you are not a full time farmer will have a resident labour?

Why did you choose cocoa? is somebody growing in your locality? you cannot sell this in open market.  there are few buyers, who monapolises the market interms of rates.

Secondly you will have to processs them: cut pods, ferment seeds, dry it. very laboriouse.

There are different practises you can choose which suits to you.
1.Inorganic method:Chemical fertiliser, chemical pesticide. (Highly hazardouse to man kind and nature)
2.Half inorganic: chemical fertiliser. but organic pesticide.( Minimised hazard but not completly eco friendly)
3.Organic  farming: high valued inputs like ground nut cakes,neem cakes, fish meal bone meal etc and organic pesticide.(Not hazardouse but needs lot of in puts rom external sources)
4.Palekar Method: Natural fertilisers , cost effective in puts, natural pesticides.( this economical way but takes time to give best result.Eco friendly, self sustainable( no dependecy on external inputs)
5:Fukuoka Method: No fertiliser, no pesticide. crop rotation plays role of fertiliser. No pruning of plants, No tilling feilds, no hybrid seeds, no grafting etc.( most economical, natural but takes a long time to establish. At the moment Enthusiasts only doing this method)

There are lot more like bio dynamics, pinoy farming, permaculture etc.

If you try to avoid point 1 it is best.

Hi Ashish,
    since your farm is nearby nashik city, why dont you think about vegetables, beans etc . If we check prices of vegetables throughout the year they are descent ones, but only thing is since time span is small you need to be more involved .

Regarding mango there is always pretty good competition from nearby konkan region, please think of it .
Since you are in nashik I need not tell you about grapes, and pomgranate you must be knowing its pros n cons already .
Please decide depending on soil testing reports



Sorry for delayed reply.

I am not a full time farmer indeed not a farmer. My parents were.

I am basically a computer engineer but very much willing to go for farming. You might ask why I want to switch. Well, honestly I do not have answer to it either but you can call it interest.

You can consider me no better than my 2 year old kid when it comes to farming.

Having said that,  sri2012 I am keen to put my full efforts in farming but as of now, I can’t allocate full time for farming as I have to do my job as well for my food.

cocoa just popped in my mind. There is a river (dry in other reasons except rains) along side my land but I can arrange borewell.

Prashant, thanks for the time.
Vegetables/Grapes needs a full time force. My friends do them.

I am looking out for option where initially I do not have to dedicate my time fully. Once I am progressing, I will convert to it fully.

Awaiting guidance on this.

Many thanks again

You have to make some farm visits see below link for guidance … rm-trail!/

Just visit some progressive farmers in your area. in the above link you will find example of farmers maintaining 8+ acres without labour need.

Plan long terms crops, for you can make a contract for harvesting.
Plan how you can avoid dependecy on labour.
Plan crops with draught resistance charecters like Mango,sapota,Sitaphal Drum stick etc.

Hi ashish999,

Assuming you can make 3 lakhs per year in your 3 acres farm, will this money be enough to sustain yourselves along with family especially in Maharashtra.  If you say yes, then you can move to farming once the target is achieved from your current job to full time farming.

Alternatively, you can acquire few acres, if your budget permits and then do the calculation.

You can go for short term crops, medium term crops and long term crops.  You can checkout in your local market (best would be to ask your mother &r wife who knows better) about the vegetables that are acceptable and available in your market.  You can think of fruit trees & others including moringa, tamarind, papaya etc.  Make a list of the things your family buys from the market and ensure that everything is available from your farm.

Naturally, there will be some that cannot be grown in your climate and this can be purchased from the market.

My simple approach would be to get whatever is possible from the farm and anything extra available from the farm can be sold for getting other things that cannot be grown like TV, Clothes etc.

This way your dependency on other things can be minimized.

Padmanabhan Ganesan

Hi Ashish,
    you and me are absolutely in same boat , even regarding land, a dry river next to my farm too :slight_smile: .
Our land is in bhusaval and I am trying hard for plantation, combination that needs least attention and can generate considerable income in after couple of years so that I can jump full time (still a dream) .

But a word of caution, 3 acres might not be sufficient unless you plan for poly house, seed production, floriculture, intensive and integrated farming etc .
From last year I am trying hard to get dam water use permission, subsidy for farm pond and then electricity, but last years deficient rain and government officials ruined all plans. I am starting fresh this year to execute the plan . We have short term crops of ground nut and soybean in this season.
Thanks & regards,

Thank you…
I will get details as per your suggestion.
I will be getting back to you with my findings and your guidance.

Hello Padmanabhan,
Thank you for the time.
3 lacs won’t be sufficient as I am earning more than this currently but I can purchase more land.
However, when I do not know what to do and how to do then land won’t be any good. It would go to waste.
Also, as I have no prior experience and that is the reason I do not want to jump totally into it initially.
Every person learnt slowly and I too will.
The sole reason I am seeking advise of experts is that I cannot dedicate full time for farming initially and I can’t risk my family for my willingness to go back to my roots.

Hello Prashant,
Glad to see you :slight_smile:
I have plans to purchase more but I need to know the basics first and how to start.
Yes, we are in same boat even in terms of plans.
I wish to jump fully when I can generate something from it.
Currently, leaving my job and going for farming will be no less than a suicide for me.
Please let me know if you got any ideas for me to start. I will be obliged.

Hi ashish999,
If you have spare money which is not needed at all, then use that money to buy the land.  The land rates keeps going up every year and your spare money will not grow at the same rate.  If you have other ways to make your spare money grow faster than the land rates, then you can keep the spare money and invest in proper channels.


Having looked at the farms, their work procedure, time and labour requirement, I am not finding it possible to dedicate that much time.

However, I do think that plantations for example teak (I do not know what other options I have) can be done.

Can you please guide me in this regards?

Which plantation can be done, which other plants/trees can be combined along with it, where and how to start, where they can be sold etc.

Awaiting your reply.
Thanks in advance

Hi Ashish,
      did you tried to check feasibility of shewaga (drum stick), lemon, aawala . They need minimal water and maintenance .


Hello Prashant,

Yes, but they too will need regular care (if not much) and major thing is what would I earn back is minimal.

You have little misunderstanding. All the 3 crops suggested by ppb are best for your case. You need to have a resident labour(for protecting and watering). You can visit on weekends.

If you consider watering is “regular care”(as u said above), forget farming. Because if you have drip irrigation you will have sitching on is the only wwork left to you. occasionally drips have to be cleaned.
You can automate fertigation along with drip.

so if you plan everything you can minimize the efforts.

Drumstick(PKM1) can be planted at 3mx3m i.e 436 plants per acre. each plant yeailds 25 to 40Kg. you can make a quick calculation on revenue. Life of the plant is 3-5 years.

Lemon you can have 2000/- per tree/year. This needs regular harvesting. You can contract this out.