Need your opinions on this land

Hi guys,

Need your thoughts/opinions here please. A friend of mine has pointed me to 19acres of agricultural land located in the foot hills of the western ghats in north karnataka. This piece of land is surrounded by evergreen mountains. The owner says 9 of the 19 acres is facing a pond/some sort of water front. He is presently growing  coconuts in 3 acres and about 6 acres for paddy cultivation. Rest of the land is not been utilized. Owner says all documents in place except that he has taken a loan on the basis of the land which as per the owner can be cleared up and get necessary clearances from his bank. So far awesome.

The problem areas:-

  1. The land is accessible by road and there is a state highway about 15 Kms from this land. But, the problem is there is no electricity yet in this village. The owners says light poles have been installed up to the next village and its only a matter of few months before they will have electricity in this village.

  2. I have not yet seen the land but knowing where it is located, I guess it has to be lateritic sandy soil suitable for coconut plantation, arecanuts, banana etc. What else can i grow here? Growing vegetables/fruits has its own problems as the nearest city is Hubli at approx 140 Kms,  Karwar at 70-80 kms,  Panjim at 180 kms,  Belgaum at 200 kms, Mangalore at 280 kms.  Do you guys think being this far away from the cities is a hindrance???

  3. Asking price is about 1.5 lakhs an acre.  (I would simply pay 1 lakh just for the clear title :slight_smile:  ) On a serious note, do you guys think its worth the money ? Do you even think its worth driving down 12 hours to check out the place?

Your initial thoughts/feedback/apprehensions/questions are welcome.  Will take it forward from there.

Hi Agri Exec,

It depends on where you live ? First of all remote control farming is a total disaster. Dont even think of it.

Go for it and buy it if you are able to drive down from you daily life I mean  "daily life place ", the place where you work and live and have adjusted to its surroundings,  on a short notice !!. The nearer you live to your land the better it is.

Mine is 3 hours by bus. 2 hours by car. I travel by bus and it costs Rs 101 to and 101 fro. So by Rs 250 you can spend a good day going and coming back.  :astonished:. Now I am engaged in building a small farm house, this costed me around 2 lacs with power. So now as I grow old, I can think of staying overnight there instead of rushing back.  ;D  ;D

Unless & Otherwise you want to move out to this land "Stock & Barrel " and live and start a new life then I dont have any answers. Probably you already have found one. A Fukuoka in the making  ;D. Living ad-mist nature I have no words to describe it.

My case has been different, I was in IT field and suddenly had a " mid life boring crisis " . So saved some money to buy land and some to sustain my self and then ventured out. Yes I called it quits to my engineering life after being in field for 20 Years. Exactly 20 years after my first job !!! Now I am on 2 year vacation doing this !!!

Now I have 6.5 acres in my name, tomorrow I am going to get GPA for another 3.5. And the 2012 will be an year of actions. Success or  disaster I will come to know by this year end. You are free to Join me in my mad journey if you want to get your feet wet.

My honest advise to you, if money is not a problem and I think you can drive it down to 1 to 1.2 lac / acre. Use the natural surrounding to your disadvantage while negotiating, saying that a lot of wild animals may descend from mountains, lack of power , labour etc etc and buy it. Then you can think of doing what you want. Advise is on any land any thing can be done. Organic or otherwise !!. Technology is available out there and many have done it.

You can mail me  kgmural@gmail.com or call me on 9448689520. btw I live in Bangalore. I will mail you some links where good work is being done by many. I am just following them !!!

Regards

Murali

Murali,

Thanks for your thoughts. You seem to be on your way to becoming my friend :slight_smile: 

I live in mumbai. Plan for time being is to splurge my savings on buying a farm land. once bought, I will leave it alone for at least a year so i can continue with my present 9am-9pm grind and save some money to further invest in cultivating that land. Till then I have to slog in Mumbai.

Once i start to cultivate, i move to the farm lock, stock & barrel. Probably with a couple of guns too :slight_smile:

I’m in my mid 30s. I’m not very fond of the pace of city life except during the times i spend drinking beer in a nice bar  8)  Somehow, something is missing although everything is there. You get the jist??

If i move to the farm land, then i don’t have a choice left. I have to make it a success or else i go back to Mumbai to search for a job.

Lack of power and crop options is something that bothers me. Plus the labour needed. Maybe I’m trying to foresee too much before hand here. But then thats how I look at things.  I can live with solar lights but how in this hell do i get that pump running??:P  I think in 1-2 years that village should get some electricity.

I don’t want to buy some thing and wonder what I am going to do with it. I better be sure of what I’m buying just to avoid blowing up my hard earned cash.

Honestly, I don’t want to do this as a means of earning money. I want to do it because i think i will be happier. But I will initially have to make enough to support my family as well.

Do you plan to live on the farm eventually? What are you growing on 6.5 acres?? Where is your farm?

Look forward to the link. Hope to get my feet wet soon :slight_smile:

Hi agri_exec,
    I am in same boat, in process of buying agri land in north west Maharashtra .
Land I have zeroed down was not having electricity, still I was interested, but in a dramatic development electricity reached nearby due to efforts of some of the farmers .

I was planning to address power problem in below ways (theoretically).
*Plan a pond in farm which will yield good results in couple of years by recharging ground water.
*Plan for a windmill to use water from pond or well . I could refer you a website which works on similar initiative.
*Use diesel powered motors to get water.

a link about low cost windmill invention.
dare.co.in/people/featured-innov … ndmill.htm

Let me tell you few things about electricity.
Do not believe stories of getting electricity sooner. Managing few poles of electricity itself is a big deal. My father retired from MSEB (Maharashtra EB) and I know very well how tedious it is.

As par my knowledge in Maharashtra if a farmer files a application he should get electricity in 1 month provided Electricity Board need not have a substation or similar bigger expenses.

If poles are not there EB simply handovers the cost of having those poles there and if farmer is willing to bear it they will provide it .

It may involve buying xformer to convert HT to LT and so on … Lot of money is involved. Here you are talking about village itself do not have electricity so could imagine work involved.

I will suggest please have a look at land and then decide .

When I red you message I got that you are exactly going through same phase of life as me.
Me too in 30s, IT engineer by profession, everything looks just perfect in life but then you always miss something.

I will suggest please do not be in hurry to leave your job. Agri land needs some investment initially such as constructing well or water source, farm house, fencing, buying agri instruments,  etc etc .

I am doing a lot of reading from past couple of months and following a blog for sometime which may give solution to you power problem .

Do let me know you email id will send it .

I also look forward to interact with Murali… both of you are in same situation as mine .

I will suggest if you buy agri land, do not leave it alone for a year or so as you said.

This is the best time to plan for water source , natural fencing bushes, plantation such as coconut or something similar on boundary at least , soil test etc etc. 

Thanks

If you have an option, I would suggest to look for something within an hour/hour and a half’s drive from the city.
That would help a gradual move into what you propose to do and you will be close to the market too.

Ppb,

Thanks a lot for your comments. Last night i had a long chat with the owner of the land and here are a couple of things I learnt. There is a small half natural, half man made pond that stores up rain water from the onset of the rainy season until about the month of May. He says he has been cultivating paddy on a part of the land for the last 20-30 years without using a pump. Apparently the water from the pond flows freely into the paddy fields when the bund is opened. He further says that the canal can be extended to service the entire part of the land, if required. If what is he says is true then a lot of the water problems are solved at least for the time being.

Diesel pumps are also a good option but Im not sure of their economics and maintenance.  Windmills are complicated and expensive things. But definitely worth a good thought if someone can design a low cost structure.

Thanks for your thoughts on getting power connection. Government agencies suck big time at this. I can live with solar lighting for a house etc. My main worry was running the water pump.

I’m not in a hurry to quit my job as yet. As mentioned, I will move on the farm only when loose end are tied and i start cultivating. I’m still in my initial stages so I have a long way to go.

When i said i will leave my land alone, I meant to say that i will not cultivate anything on it. I am more inclined towards natural farming so I think that giving the land a year’s break is a good thing. I wish to throw around a lot of forest waste on it and hope that the soil can replenish some of it nutrients . Not sure how long this takes but certainly a break is to be given.
From what i know of the land, only 9 acres are under cultivation of which 6 acres is paddy. Now this 6 acres of paddy fields are probably abused with a lot of fertilizers and pesticides. It is this land that i want to take it easy on, give it some breathing space. The remaining 10 acres of land is not actually cultivated but has some tress like nandi and wild forest growth. Also, the 10 acres is more of a hilly terrain (apparently, its a part of the lower end of a mountain) which I’m told is very good for rubber, areca, cardamom, pepper. I’m expecting some more photos of the land in a couple of days so will get a better idea.

I am seriously contemplating this piece of land as it has some advantages that i was looking for. I plan on visiting this place in the next 2-3 weeks so will be picking up some soil samples. Any clue whats the best approach to collecting soil samples over a such a large area of 19 acres??

Lastly, I think there is a whole breed of people in their 30s who have nice jobs in cities but are missing something meaningful in life. At the risk of sounding a bit boring here, on a spiritual level, I have spent days and nights thinking about what i need for myself and my family to survive. It boils down to the basics most of the times. My DVD player is unused for over 2 years now:)  Point I’m making is, we struggle/slog to earn more money so we can buy things that we think can help us lead a better life. Sadly, we don’t need a lot of these things, yet we as human beings are driven by greed and herd mentality and immense amount of peer pressure to pursue those things that hardly add any true value to life.  The life we lead in the city is a chemical life (apart from being a “mechanical life”).  Last night, I was hesitant to give my child some fresh black grapes to eat. They were coated with this this whitish layer of pesticide (or whatever it was) which would not go away despite washing it numerous times.  Finally, i put them under flowing water for over 30 minutes before he could eat them not knowing if it helped in anyway. Its painful to see that we subject ourselves and our children to such harmful things. But then choices are limited.

I sincerely wish you all the luck in acquiring the piece of land. Do keep us posted on your progress and endeavors. Do you plan on full time farming? How large is the land you are trying to buy?

This is a great forum with a lot of very helpful people. I wish more of us can come together in sharing our ideas and passion.

Chandra,

Thanks. I have been scouting for land for a while now. Most lands around 100 kms from the city are vastly cultivated. The price per acre on average is about 7-8 lakhs which is too much for me to swallow considering my goal to own about 10-20 acres. Also, 10-20 acres in one go is difficult to find. Most of the land is held in bit and pieces of 2-3 acres.
So, one of the option for me is to buy land far away from the city. They do have their share of problems as stated earlier. One the other hand, I see another possibility. Larger land holdings means larger production. Maybe can explore economies of large scale production??? Transporting 100 MT of your produce over 100 Kms is far more economical than say 10 Mt over the same distance. Of course, this largely depends on what your are growing and harvesting time etc etc etc.

I have attached a pic from google earth. This is pretty much the same area where I am contemplating buying land. Despite being in the interiors, a lot of the coconut/areca nut plantations here are in excess of 30 acres per plantation. Wonder how these guys manage to market their produce. maybe worth paying them a visit to see how things are done.

Please keep your comments/feedback coming which is helping me constructively.


Hi agri_exec,
    nice see to your reply . Land  for which I am in process is almost 18 acres on the bank of river (Not much water in river due to a dam on it) with couple of small valleys in it . This land is not cultivated for couple of  years since there was no electricity and river bed is almost 200 feets deeper .  This 200 feets high land on a bank of a river gives nice view that I liked .

So this was catch here for irrigation and it was not economical to cultivate this land .
But when I saw it, I sensed immense opportunity in to it, land with some slope and those small valleys are created to due to water gushing from other farms make it perfect for water harvesting .

Since land was not cultivated for sometime it was perfect candidate for organic farming and plus point was just 30 kms from a tier 3 city .

It is very difficult to buy 10 acres of land with irrigation, nearby city and all such criteria with 6-10 lacks per acre, instead I decided to go for land that is abandoned and not cultivated for some reason.

As par description of the land you told , from water perspective this is a very good land .

Below is some basic calculation on water harvesting .

Assume  rainfall 700 mm.
rainfall of 0.7m on each sqM is 700 litres

1 Hect rainfall is 1000*1000 == 10000 * 700 == 7000000 (7 million or 70 lakh liters on every hectar).
1 hect == 2.47  acres

There few more factors such runoff coefficient, intensity of rain, soil type etc etc .

Now just add that hilly area as catchment area and calculate the rain water harvesting capability of this land… its huge .

Recently I have visited a similar land of 27 acres which was left due to no water, but hills on one side . This farmer done a lot of JCB work, made a lot of trenches to catch this rain water and store in multiple ponds (JCB machine worked almost for couple of months continuously) .

But end result ?
Today he is having 2 big wells and one borewell in this 27 acres which supplies water throughout the year . I could only salute this farmer .

Soil samples there is thread in this forum please follow,  collect samples from 4/5 places and also water sample .

I will keep posted my plans and progress on water harvesting and plantation after Mar 2012 regularly .

My initial plan is to start planting  coconut, mango,lemon,pomgranate etc and cultivate millets, pulses such toor , groundnut in between this plantation . I need not worry about water till Aug end since monsoon should take care . Once I acquire land I will start executing my plan .

I want to concentrate more on fruits, flowers and similar stuff which needs less attention and less labor (I asume so ) and less maintenance after initial years .
I am not planning to leave my job so early since my father is retired and he is willing to take care of it.
But I will definitely visit this land whenever I could do so.

Lets keep this discussion live and let other members also pour in their thoughts so that dream of peoples like us to own piece of land to live peacefully may come true !!!

Thanks

Hi All,

Its always nice to sit by the pool side with a martini and keep on thinking.  :-X  :-X

Yes blame it on our education, more over on the family circle that we move in. They are our scare crows !! Always an hindrance and adding only nusense value to your life.

I was in a similar situation. Was feeling suffocated . My Air Force training and other exposure set me free, with a thought that  " Trying and Failing is far far better than Failing to Try"   ;D  And to do this you need to be young and hungry !!! Coz if we fail, then with our tail between the legs we can go back. Without being noticed  ;D  ;D

If you are passionate about farming then the best thing to do is when you have the energy in your limbs. I thought during my working years that how much ever you slog, work like a donkey for some one else, another donkey will overtake you.  End of the day you are sulking.

Think over this, If farming is your passion, the earlier you get into it the better would be your life. As a matter of fact any thing may be your passion, if you can get into it, do it now !!. If you cant do it, think who will do it for you !!!. No one !!

Yes I too have all that hitech gadgets including an HDMI upscaler media box with around 1000 movies. Never ever followed the movie fully. But end up watching the local channel’s movie ! :'(

There is an old saying in upanishads  “Yadth Bhavam,  Thadth Bhavathi”

Cheers, go out negotiate and pick the land if you can afford it. Any day you can quit it out with appreciation,  :astonished:  :astonished:  :astonished:
Ever hear land being sold less than the bought price. Not in my life time in India  ::)  ::).

regards

Murali

So many guys in the same boat? It is a ship for sure!

@agri_exec,
Being in the country’s financial capital has its downside?! 100 km from Hyderabad would get you into the 1-1.5 L range per acre, I am surprised it only takes you down to 6-8 there. I agree 15-20 acres is a minimum size for sustenance and that it doesn’t make sense to buy land at real estate prices to do agriculture. Did you look at my blog? - similar pursuit: farmnest.com/blogpost1

Pond in farm - be sure to have soil tested for salinity & alkalinity.

Market in the interiors - one thing I have noticed is commission agents are omnipresent and will buy from your farm wherever it is.

Hey, the white thing on grapes could just be the wax bloom!

@Murali,
You are goading people to leave their jobs!?  :wink:
You need to create a dedicated topic with pics and progress, we lost you after the clay soil discussion!

Cheers,
Chandra

Hi Chandra,

No way I am goading people to quit.  ;D  ;D Com on yaar I have a heart.  :astonished: I am only hinting, dont do miserable things in your life for money !! End of the day you need to live your life.

By the way, feelings and ideas  are pouring in here, money is not what the group of guys here are for, except a few. People are here looking out for that “Something” . I am only giving them a physiological push.  ???  ???

Well my hands are full as of now, I will start off a blog shortly, giving pin by pin details on what I am doing. Input vs Output. Organic Vs Inorganic etc etc. Its around the corner, just wait. Coz having bought the land is in itself half your job done. I need to do the other half  ;D  ;D compared to others.

I am waiting for some small jobs to be completed at my farm house. See Chandra being from engineering background, some how we tend to see perfection in what we do. Well at rural side this perfection added with professionalism is missing. Guys simply dont value your time. This is my grouse.

A small off topic update, bought a copper pitcher for the bathroom, just to put it in a traditional way, hot water bath from  copper vessel  ;D  ;D. Now an idea of “Rocket Stove” for this boiler enters my mind. coz from engineering point this is super super efficient.  No mason is in agreement over this.  :frowning:  :frowning:  You agree to the problems in dealing with rural folks.

rocketstove.org/
rocketstoves.com/

To all others please think wise before you jump, Sure this is not a bed of roses, expect your share of thorns toooo  :-[  :-[

Regards

Murali

Chandra,

Of course, being in the financial capital of the country has many downside. I’m sure you would know them well.  The advantage I have seen so far is if you are smart and hard working you can move up the corporate ladder quickly and make lots of money plus plenty of opportunities. Forget good health, well being and stress free life.  This could get into a debate about city versus farm life so i better stop here. :slight_smile:

Yes i have seen your blog. Very interesting.

6-8 lakhs an acres around Mumbai? No way!! I was talking about 6-8 lakhs an acres in north and south kanara districts of karnataka. A friend of mine sold half an acre of his agriculture land 80 kms away from Mumbai for 35 lakhs.  Crazy eh!!

Yes i will get some samples of the soil and water when i go down to see the land. Will post findings here.

Wax bloom… You normally see wax on imported apples and  sometimes on the Indian apples and plums. I have never seen edible wax on grapes.  I don’t think coating grapes with wax is even economical for the vendor. It has to be some pesticide for sure. Its common in Delhi, Mumbai for vegetable/fruit sellers to colour the produce. Green peas are soaked in some green solution to make them appear greener, same for Indian round gourd.

Murali,

My friends ask me " Isnt farm life for retirement"??. This is just about the mindset of people. I agree with you that you have to get into the farm thing when your spine can support it. No point when you are 48-50 yrs old and cant lift a bucket full of water. Honestly, I wish i had started a few years ago but I was too stuck up in the material comforts of the city life. I’m glad there was an awakening.

Good luck on the Rocket stove.

Rgds

Chandra,

Quick question… What did you mean by sustenance? I would even opine 2 acres is enough for sustaining oneself i.e just bare sustenance.

If you were to farm well, grow a variety of crops & do most things right, How much money do you think you can make per acre? Thoughts please

Rgds

This occurs naturally on grapes.

Going from IT, sustenance would have a different benchmark, especially when you don’t farm yourself.
Let me hazard a guess - anything from Rs. 5k to 100k?  :-X

Cuticular wax… they are easy to wash. Don’t need 2 wash plus 30 minutes under flowing water.

That’s an extreme range

Chandra,

On second thoughts, the white layer on the grapes you refer to as wax bloom is actually not wax. Its yeast formation.
The cuticular wax on the skin of the grapes can be barely seen i.e its a very thin layer functioning as a moisture retainer.

Hi Chandra and Agri_Exec.

I agree with chandra on sustenance. This is what drove me for that 10 Acre plot. I think 100K / Acre /Annum is achievable. Though with some efforts.

More over whats the harm in having more under your belt. Any day you can carve it out for other like minded guys. With a lot of appreciation. on … and from him… ;D  ;D

Regards

Murali

Murali,

Never having owned my own farm land, I still think 15-20 acres is a lot of land for “sustenance”.  The only advantage of a larger holding of land is Economy of scale and flexibility. Smaller land holdings, if intensively managed can be more productive than larger pieces of land? I hear intensive farming of 15-20 acres is very difficult unless you have very dedicated labor and very good knowledge of agriculture.

In the Indian scenario, what would be the trade off in having small holdings versus larger holdings i.e what are the cost/benefit ratio?? Has this been discussed on the forum here? Any thoughts as to what would be the optimum size needed to achieve optimum output/benefits? I have heard of farmers earning 22 lakhs from 2 acres and someone else earning 25 lakhs from 25 acres. Or Is my line of thinking simply silly??

Could you tell us how you plan to optimize usage of your 10 acres? Honestly, I’m just curious.  Yes, with a speculative outlook there is no harm in large holdings. More the better :slight_smile:

Hi Farmers,

Check the pics I have attached. Have a few questions on it.

  • The forest hilly land that you see, How much do you think it will cost me per acre to clear out that forest area?? I would hate to destroy the forests but I have to find a way to use the land ( I wont level it though).  It has a nice slope so bananas can be grown. What else can i do here? The forest patch has some teak and nandi too.  If i clear up the forest land and try to grow something on the slope, will pumping water uphill be an issue???

  • The paddy fields, ( about 7 acres in total) does it need to be leveled to cultivate crops or grow bananas? could drip irrigation  be a problem due to uneven ground??

I will post you more pictures of the land for better assessment.

Thanks a lot .






HI agri_exec,
    Any specific reason you do not want to level the land ? Traditionally farmers will level land with smaller slopes because watering should be easy I guess.

Even land I am in process, is having slopes. I think I will pickup highest point in the land, construct a water tank there (Less cost due to natural height) and then water can be moved across farm easily for longer distance using gravity (Might be drip or any other conventional way ) .

Clearing up bushes, as of now I am planning to get this done by JCB machine , thats what I have been suggested. Not sure about cost but you could easily per/hr charges for JCB from local peoples.

Thanks