Im Chem Engineer working in Dubai. I have about 120 acres in theni, TN. When the land was purchased, it had Cashew trees (10 years old) for about 60 acres (rain fed). Recently, 6 Bore-wells ( sweet water - EC 0.6) , electricity, fencing etc. has been completed. It is a deep (50 feet) sandy loam red soil with pH of 6.2 to 6.5.
For the remaining 60 acres, I plan to cultivate high value crops ( suitable for our condition) with intensive cultivation. We have a team of 5 people full time working and living in the farm. Guest house facilities are available. Cow sheds are getting ready in another 1 month to house 4-5 desi cows for organic farming. I have planted Drumstick - 2000 plants.
I am contemplating Custard Apple, Pomegranate as other crops. About 25 acres is ready for cultivation. I seek your help in the following:
1a. Custard Apple - Marketing aspects (or) some contact details (if known) to assess the feasibility to do it from TN. 1b. Contact details for getting the best varieties (& seedlings) 1c. If mixed varieties are planted ( i.e. Balanagar, Arka Sahan, Athyomia Balanagar etc.) what is the impact? Or is it better to go for single variety. 1d. Best cultivation practices for Custard apple
2a. Pomegranate: I am considering Baugva variety. Is it OK or any other variety to be considered?
2b. Where can I get good T.C seedlings? 2c. Best Cultivation practices for the same. 2d. General perception is that Pomegranate is difficult crop to take care due to demanding attention, care & pest attacks. Is it advisable for large scale farming or suitable for small farmers involved directly hands on?
- Any alternative crops / plants - suggestions to maximize the overall economics of the operation considering my location, limited farming experience, good investment capabilities, good availability of labors ( about 50 people are working daily for collection of cashew fruits for the past 2 months).
I would appreciate guidance from Mr. Rao or any experienced persons in this forum…