Economics of agri and an early retirement from corporate career


#21

in MP Soya is best

or I would suggest diary farming and some timber woods on borders…


#22

DEAR MEMBERS,
VERY MANY THANKS TO MR SHAJATH, TEJ, SENIOR MANAGER  OF A BANK AT ZONAL LEVEL, TO MATHEW AND TO ANKIT FROM MP FOR SHOWING  MANY  INTEREST AND ENTHUSIAM IN READING MY MESSAGE.
  THIS IS PARTICULARLY IN RESPONSE TO THE  MESSAGE OF SRI ANKIT FROM MP.
YOU CAN  AS EARLY AS  POSSIBLE TAKE YOUR 20 ACRES OF GOLDEN LAND BA CK  FROM THE  TENANT.
AS YOU ARE INTERESTED IN  COMMERCIAL PLANTATION WHICH REQUIRES LESS ATTENTION, YOU CAN BROWSE AGRICULTURALINFORMATION.COM FROM WHERE YOU CAN GET  HUGE INFORMATION ON THIS SUBJECT.
YOU CAN  GO OR ORCHARD LIKE MANGO COCONUT ORANGE SWEET ORANGE  LEMON, OR  MEDICHINAL PLANTS/TREES LIKE PATHIMUGHAM WHICH CAN    OFFER VERY HIGH RETURN WITHIN 8 YEARS OR ELSE GO FOR  HYBRID  CASURINA JUNGHUNIA OF MADURAI UNIVERSITY PRODUCT OR CAN TRY FOR MELIA DUBIA AGARWOOD SANDALWOOD TEAK ETC ETC.
THESE  DEFINITELY WILL GIVE  YOU BACK VERY GOOD RETURN S WITH LESS LABOUR.
THERE ARE SOOO MANY COMMERCIAL          PLANTATION/TREES. BROWSE SOME GOOD    WEBSITES ON AGRICULTURE . CONTACT  PEOPLE. ATTEND  AGRI/MELAS  READ MAGAZINES  OF AGRICULTURAL  ATTEND WORKSHOP.
THE MOTHER IS REALLY CALLING YOU BACK.  SHE LOVES SOO MUCH.
PLEASE TAKE  IMMEDIATE ACTION AND START. DONT LEAVE THE FIELD BARREN.
  CONTRIBUTE FOR PRODUCTIVITY WHICH IS  THE HI9GHEST SERVICE TO THE NATION.
THANKS TO ALL
MNUPADHYAYA.MOBILE  +91` 9480338733.


#23

Sirji, here is a humble request to write in Proper case, ALLCAPS feels like you are SHOUTING at others.  In case you are not aware you can hit the CapsLK button to take it to small case and then use shift and the letter to make a single character it in Caps.


#24

Dear Farmer Member
I am a small old farmer --chhota buddha kissan
will try to follow your good suggestions.

Dhanyavaad.


#25

yes Mr. Mathew. that is the reality. majority of the people who are keen to do agriculture want to do it from their cosy homes in urban areas and by engaging labour. they have no plans for the future. I hve had the oppurtnity to meet such people and have asked them why they want to venture into agriculture and would their next generation follow them to rural areas to carry on their venture. the answers were some times funny and apears aimless. they are for sure that their offsprings wont come to villages for agriculture but to have fun on holidays. people of such mindset do more harm to noble profession  than anything good.


#26

My opinion:

Everything is a Phenomenon! Intentions are too secondary in my experience i.e., intention to operate a farm remotely is just the inception of an idea to generate income from all directions to beat insecurity. In majority of the cases, no matter how much we earn in urban cities, insecurity is always the driving factor rather than the passion. So to me, venturing out with multiple options at hand, agriculture jsut being an option, is not a negative move at all. I would go the extent to appreciate the urban chaps if they are planning to create similar wealth in agriculture vis-a-vis to what they are earning in the corporate world which is a good target to start with and if they fortunately become successful they will be role models to those who may follow suite.

As I expressed that everything is a phenomenon, one will sooner or later realise the practical possibility of operating from a remote place. When one starts getting 10 odd calls per day for N number of reasons viz., motor starter not working, power schedule is changed and from now on the power will only be available during nights. In such case who will manage the water to crops, some new disease/pest is observed in which case whom to contact and who will come for rescue, sheep of nieghbors intentionally left into your farm for grazing which ate away half of your standing crop in a single day, wild pigs casuing menace during nights, your main pipeline broke, the community transformer stopped functioning and what is the immediate alternative. Who will arrange for such alternatives like generator? Labour has turned untrustworthy selling the fertilizer stocks, seeds, fodder, etc that you maintained in the farm, giving wrong statistics on external labour engaged say for weeding etc, labour has turned into a drunkard causing menace to neighbours, labour causght some severe sickness and wants to go home for a month, Severe wind/heavy rain casuing damage to standing crops-who will take right decisions and arrange for immediate rescue measures, your crrop is ready for marketing, prices are good delaying which will spoil keeping quality but unfortunately you have a project deadline/out of country etc etc etc just to name a few…

What I mean to say is every single day there will be challenges and eventhough a person is remotely managing, is actually learning and growing in terms of maturity, in terms of improvising his decisions until one day he ends up realising that it is better to shift full time into agriculture/some other efficient fool-proof alternative. And those who survive this phenomenon/journey will be the ones who are going to stay for a long run in the filed of agriculture.

Today, sometimes I regret to have ventured into agriculture in a rush and feel that I would have given some more time to study the economical feasibility Vs my expectations but then I also went through remarkable experiences which I would have missed in Time. These experiences have indeed prepared me to take more informed decisions in future. Psychologically, it is the figure/number that I lost which is hurting me more than my poor ability to convert experiences into a higher value.

Opinions, Styles of operation differ from person to person and so are the experiences. From a broader viewpoint, no one can harm a phenomenon; Existence has its ways to bring in awareness in individuals. I Wish good luck to one and all.

Best Regards
Guru


#27

What is your personal experience.


#28

Dear Mathew sir,

Every single challenge mentioned in the second paragraph of my post is my personal experience.
If the question is rather towards my journey into agri-venture, then it goes like this. I took a personal loan @ 11% reducing rate and took 15 acres of land on lease for 10 years in the month of June 2014. The land did not have any infra structure and was full of acacia trees. We removed the acacia trees, drilled 3 bore wells (2 were successful), paid extra money to village community to take two power connections for the bore well motors, built a farm hut (13 ft x 36 ft) which includes a portion for labor & a small cattle shed. Installed drip irrigation for 10 acres where we are growing horticultural crops viz., Moringa(drumstick), Papaya, Pomegranate & Banana each in one hectare (2.5 acres). Installed sprinkler irrigation in the rest 3 acres. Purchased desi cows out of which one cow and a calf are Gir and remaining are local breeds mostly malnad gidda breed I guess. I am using remaining 4.5 acres for growing vegetables mainly onion, groundnut, ragi & fodder for cattle.

Plan during next 1 year:

  • Install fencing around the farm.
  • Grow timber trees along the border which can yield within 8 years (advice needed).
  • Two sets of Vermicomopst units.
  • One unit of Bio-digetser.
  • Slowly start sheep farming with a unit size of 30+1(Ewes + Ram resply) (advice needed).
  • Plan for inter crops at every ratooning in Moringa & Banana and if possible Papaya (advice needed).
  • Plan for a 25 KVA transformer.
  • If fortunate and get bumper crop & price, plan for a solar unit for one motor. Still bigger lottery, purchase own land :slight_smile: .

Learnings:

  • Plan for regular income right from the day 1. It helps a lot.
  • Need to clearly discuss each and every aspect while entering into agreement with landowner. Taking expert advice even at a cost is most advised. I say this because I had to shell lot of money for every expense towards building infra-structure which otherwise would have covered under subsidy (at least 60% of expense).
  • Initial couple of years, better to engage a good farm consultant to visit at least twice in a month.
  • Excitement should not lead to rush in spending money i.e., one should thoroughly study the availability of less expensive options for any material used to create inra-structure, planting material etc.
  • During the days of establishing the infra-structure, one must be available on the farm and ensure every small work is done with quality.
  • Always keep at least one lakh rupees (for every 10 lakhs spent-depends)  towards operational expenses, emergencies etc.
  • It is always better to have integrated approach i.e., every aspect should compliment each other in the farm. Example Cattle should compliment crops and crops in turn should compliment cattle
  • Surrounding market study well in advance is of utmost importance.
  • Must pay equal importance to every aspect of farming i.e., Soil health management, water management, crop health management.
  • No matter how you are treated/taken for ride by the neighbors/locals, always have plan for community welfare activities in the vicinity of your farm in case you are doing economically good. At the same time be very very careful/intelligent not be taken for ride by the people.
  • Very important: Maintain every single day accounts no matter what.
  • If you want to believe the revenue published by experts, then you must also believe in the possibility of risks like pest infestation, natural calamity, untimely rains etc etc.

My experience so far:

  • Wealth creation per se: Nightmare.
  • Learning per se: Pleasant.
  • Total expenditure: Around Rs.33 lakhs and still counting.
  • Total revenue: Around Rs.60,000.

Best wishes
Guru


#29

Dear Sir

Your experience would be inspiration, insight, and learning curve to many. I personally believe financial calculation specifically focusing on profit within 1 year from a farm is almost impossible. That is also in such  a big project like 15 acre.I know you are investing your knowledge, idea, money , energy to reap in coming years.

I was thinking by stepping in your shoe, and annoyed only in few aspects,are we really need to invest such huge amount specially on infrastructure for a leased land ? Even if we have own land of 2-3 acere, the investment itself might have given value addition to the land. Secondly you already spend huge some of 33 lacs in a year . Am sure you must have good calculations/planning to make returns in coming days. Personally I don’t have that much courage to spend such big amount in a leased land with a borrowed finance. Am sure your experience and learning will have a back up plan in this venture for taking such bold steps.

But you are already in Banana cultivation of 2.5 aceres in last 1 year. Studies shows this year was a really good year for banana cultivation farmers who could easily earn rs 1 lac per acre. Does it mean, banana cultivation is also not a short term crop to depended upon for any startup farmers?

tks/rgds
rajan mathew


#30

Dear Mathew sir,

Thanks for the humbleness.

I must honestly admit that, most of my investment was under the influence of excitement and not proper planning, not that I am born rich guy to whom 30 lakhs doesn’t matter. During the course I realized few of my weaknesses. One such weakness is inability to say NO when my gut feeling wanted to me to say NO.

Other factors wherein I lost the game with my initial crops were improper or negligence on crop health & nutrient management.

I completely agree at least after a year that profit making takes its own time. Now I feel that purchasing land would have been a much better bet than the lease. I was ignorant.
I planted banana 8 months before. Initial growth was too slow may be due to improper management or the type of banana suckers I selected not sure. They are picking up now and hope will do well hereafter and may come to bearing in the next 4 months. In general banana takes 1 year for the first harvest. Subsequent harvests would take lesser time say 7 to 9 months if I am right based on management & plant health.

Regards
Guru


#31

Dear Sir

When we do things often we do mistakes, without mistakes we can not learn and grow. So I don’t think we need to disappoint on losing some number in the game.

I feel to make immediate cash flow better to focus on some short term crop like Bananaa, flower, Horticulture and a diary farm. In Banana there are plenty of companies makes tissue culture saplings but main focus may be given to reputed companies who provides health and properly nurtured saplings. In Tissue culture banana cultivation with their proper guided cultivation we must harvest in 12 months, 11 months and 9 months respectively year wise.

all the best wishes

tks/rgds
rajan mathew


#32

Hi all!

Good to see so many people taking an interest in agriculture! Hope this number increases and becomes a movement. Or else we seem to be heading for a mass exodus from agriculture over the next decade.

As for the viability of farming - all the inputs are broadly of two types. One type is the ‘industrial’ approach - new technology, lots of capital, ‘stable’ income, plenty of inputs, high turnover and ROI calculations etc. The other is the organic/natural approach, which vaguely implies less dependence on markets for inputs, but still ends up looking exactly like the industrial corporate model when it comes to the ‘earning money’ part - where you get lost in the marketing, export, branding jargon etc.

My humble two bits:

  1. Anyone who wishes to get into farming, please take the time to read and study and observe and get your facts straight. That will take a lot of doing because there is so much misleading information, advertising, vested interests etc. creating smoke and froth and confusion.
  2. Let the objective be very clear - like Covey says, start with the outcome in mind. Is it plain money? Do I simply want to replace my corporate job A with farming business B and continue with the same ‘lifestyle’? Is it the ‘cinematic’ (as someone said earlier) idyllic lifestyle that is attracting you? Is it the fear of pollution, lifestyle diseases, pesticide laden food, urban stresses, job insecurity that is driving this decision? The ‘WHY’ is the most important question, because that will decide whether you are going get into dairy, poultry, organic, natural, chemical, polyhouse, shade net, export and god knows what else… :smiley:
  3. Is everybody on board? Is your immediate family enrolled into the thought? Is your wife - probably working in a corporate job herself - and children of whatever age - and parents etc. willing to stand beside you, work with you and take what comes out of it and be satisfied with it? Big difference between farming and job - You can do your job alone (independently). Farming cannot be done alone - it is a family/community enterprise and strictly interdependent.
  4. Be prepared and willing to unlearn - the greatest challenge before urban folk is not learning. Most of us have highly developed learning skills. The biggest challenge is to unlearn, to dump all the clutter that we have accumulated in our current lives. This is more important than anything else and will make all the difference between frustration and satisfaction. And by clutter I mean all the industrial concepts that we start applying to agriculture automatically, out of habit. Let us always remember - agriculture was flourishing for at least 12,000 years before the Industrial revolution. There seem to be very few things that the Industrial way of thinking can actually contribute to Agriculture. It would be very arrogant to assume that ‘modern science and technology’ can replace and do away with all that has been observed, understood, tested, proven and applied over 12,000 years.

So before we start calculating the payback period and internal rate of return, I suggest we STUDY, decide WHY we are farming, ENROL your family and UNLEARN. The Emus, rabbits and green houses can wait some more, right?..  :smiley:

Naren


#33

Hi Naren,

Lots of experience reflects from your message. I wish I had gotten a chance to read such message a year back just before I ventured into agriculture.
Honestly speaking, even if I had read your article a year before, my mind would not allowed me to take some more time because of sheer excitement of cinematic adventure.
Contrary to my current state of mind, I still feel one needs to think of taking risk at some point because reading is never ending. One has to get the hands dirty to know, understand the realm. I do agree that one has to be conscious to take risk only to the extent that he/she can conveniently come out or encourage Self towards more learning in case of failure.

Every now and then I get to come in touch with lot of enthusiasts of corporate background who are planning to venture into agriculture. My advice to them would be to consider working over weekends in others’ farms which are closer to the city where one stays at least for one year. That can bring out lot of clarity which further helps in taking informed decision and may also help to unlearn the clutter. During this process one should be as neutral as possible and focus on observation. This would surely can give an idea of what it takes to really have Emus, rabbits, greenhouses etc :slight_smile: .

Regards
Guru


#34

Gents,
  This is in-fact a good discussion and more informative for persons like me who is in much confusion whether to take a full time Agriculture (or) Part Time (or) to invest and supervise with labour. The above discussion has given a clear picture on the above topic… Thanks to Mathew, Guruprasad, Upadhaya, Naren and others for bringing out the facts and challenges that we need to accept and be prepared to face when we transit from Job oriented to Agriculture. I have been thinking about this for the past 2 years and started learning only on the papers and through internet, being abroad (UAE) i have no chance to check or visit Farm lands, only during holidays (a week or two) just used to see a land (3.5 acre near Kanchipuram) that i got as a share from Family. where nothing is been cultivated for years.
To initiate agriculture i have spent more than 20L for a Open well 30ftx30ftx depth 50 ft, had to dig partially as it collapsed during the first digging due to heavy raining.

The difficulties now i am facing to start with is as follows…

The 2 acre land is not a square, bit here and there. Also to access i have to use other lands or the general passage (Vaikal in Tamil). Bit (A.) Close to well which is 1+ Acre, bit (B) is little distance from (A) which again 1+ Acre and bit ©-some cents of land more distance from both bits (A&B). Currently i am planning to do something only in bits (A& B), in fact my relative has cropped Paddy in bit-B, using the water from my well through pipelines.

But i could not use Bit-A as my relatives made a a huge mistake by spreading the well dig sand, which is bit sandy and rock locally called as (Paal Parai) very soft in nature which turns in to normal sand in days. It is true and I have seen that. I haven’t tried anything in that land for the past 2 years. Will the sand be suitable for planting, or is there any other way that i can make it fertile in short period of time say 3 to 6 months.

I am planning for Paddy or Vegetables or strawberry or Capsicum or flower in open / Poly House.  whether it is a good move or bad move have no idea. What will be my investment if i do so and what efforts i have to put in.

Is there any better recommend to plant on the above soil or any type of Farming, consider the temperature of chennai as Kanchipuram is 70-80 Km  away. I personally don’t prefer Cattle farming as it is mid of others land. The soil below the well dig soil was used for paddy cultivation before some years. 

Kindly suggest me on the above and recommend  a better crop.

Regards
Naveen.R


#35

I suggest you to go for open cultivation and go for Vegetables as you can make immediate returns(less than 3 to 6 months time). Use Bit(A) or Bit (B) for this.  You can use Bit© in future for polyhouse as it makes sense.

If you go for Pandal Type Vegetables and want to put a permanent structure, it may cost you 1.25 laksh per acre.  If not, go for Tomato, Bhendi or Okra etc which does not need Pandal.  Your expense will be less but have atleast 1 lakh in hand for day-to-day expenses including Permanent Labour Cost (Per Month), Seed Cost, Sowing, Weeding, Harvesting, Transportation etc.

Let me know if you have any other questions.


#36

Mr. Padmanabhan,
Thanks for your suggestion and reply, will think about this… BTW as i mentioned early, whether i need to test the well dig soil which is top layer now in Bit (A) or have to enrich the same to plant the vegetable plants.

Thanks & Regards
Naveen.R


#37

Please find photographs of my well…u cld see the sand near by in Bit(a)…and paddy cultivated in Bit(B)…thts my Father in law…u cld see the well dig sand …



#38

More photos…









#39

Even though I am replying to this post, I have seen the other posts after this.

Usually, pond soil is used on top of the existing soil for improving the soil fertility.  I am not sure about the well dig soil.

Instead of pondering over whether to test the soil or not, I suggest you to go ahead and do a 1000 Sq Ft Vegetable planting on the well dig soil and the same vegetable crop to be done on the Non Well Dig Soil (another 1000 Sq Ft).

This way you can see the results immediately.  I suggest you to go for short term crops in Vegetables which is under 100 days.  This will give a clear picture to you and post back your findings.


#40

Thanks for the suggestion… even i was thinking the same… will give a try… and let you know… BTW HAPPY DIWALI TO YOU AND ALL THE MEMBERS OF FARMNEST…

Regards
Naveen.R