Firstly thanks to all of you for creating and managing this wonderful site. If it was not farmnest I would not live this dream of getting in to farming. I am born and brought up in Mumbai but past few years I don’t like the life that I was living. I am single and at 35 years old hence can dare to move out of Mumbai and stay in a small village within a radius of 150 kms of Mumbai. The specified of 150 kms radius so that I can travel back to Mumbai as and when my family would want me and also vegetable market, export markets are great in Mumbai.
I am in super confusion in starting this project. Hence need guidance from experts, gurus and even people with no experience in farming as to how should I take up this huge task of setting up a farm. These are few of some issues I am finding answers for:
a) Where to start a project? Talegaon, Nashik, Malsej ghat, etc.
I have searched lands in Nashik. It has so much of vegetable growing area that I am in love with this place. I have even scouted Talegaon, the polyhouse hub in Maharashtra as first I wanted to do only polyhouse farming but lately after getting in to spirituality, natural living and some beautiful threads that I read on farmnest have I decided I would want to go for natural farming. Also the thought that when I don’t like me and my family eating anything with pesticides and chemicals why should I make others eat vegetables and fruits laden with anything non natural. Obviously money is something I will have to earn from the farming that I do but not compromising someone’s health. Also nature is so serene and pure it has to balance so many lives. Just for my monetary gains I should not pollute the nature toxic. So staying at this place I will create such life for myself (along with natural farming) where I will be using non chemical based products for anything and everything. Even the house I will plan to build would be of as much natural material as possible with solar kitchen, electricity being generated by solar panels and wind mill. I know all this will turn out to be expensive and commercially non viable but one thing I am not worried about in this whole process of shifting from city to village is finance (money) part. Polyhouse I will think about on later stage only if I would be able to do it without chemical based pesticide.
b) What kind of land should I buy? Land, water, accessibility, markets, etc.
There are places with very little rains and there are places with rains which pour for almost 5 months in a year.
There are places with no water, with ground water available through bore, through well, through nearby flowing river, through dam close by.
There are lands with lot of rock, places with red soil, places with brown (red and black mix) soil, places with black soil. I would want to grow as many vegetables and fruits as possible so don’t know what kind of soil I should go for.
There are places where water is as far as 2 kms and there are places with no access of road at all.
There are lands which are very close to the main Mumbai Nashik highway and Mumbai Pune highway and there are places where these highways are as far as 40 kms. At the end the produce is to be transported to these highways which are then transported Mumbai, Pune or Nashik
c) Who to buy land from, whom to trust? Investors, brokers, farmers?
Very good lands with good road approach and water are almost in the hands of so called investors. City people have bought lands at good locations and selling it at a premium. The plus points to such lands are that they are said to be clear titled and free of any hassles. Land is clearly marked and most of the time barbed fencing is done as well.
To approach directly to the farmer or local people in the village?
To trust the brokers which I get numbers online, these days mainly olx and other such websites.
As this will be my first buy I don’t know how to go about and whom to trust. At times I feel that as I am from city and I travel by my car people hike up the price and don’t offer me the actual price. So I don’t know whom to trust and how to go about buying the land.
I know it’s me who has to evaluate and understand what and where I should be doing but as I am totally new in the field of farming I don’t know how should I handle all these things. I wish there was some person who would guide me through. I am sure posting here would be of good knowledge transfer and a great help to me. I will be really grateful to people who would read such lengthy post and reply.
Thanks in advance.