Planning for a farm by taking baby steps - seeking inputs

Hi eveyone,

I am from cochin, Kerala but currently settled down in Bangalore as a software engineer. During my childhood days, I used to help my father with our backyard kitchen garden and I guess my longing to have a farm house was sown during those period. Even in my apartment in Bangalore, I keep growing plants in our balcony as well as terrace. For a while I have been keeping myself busy over various aspects of container gardening and learned some basics of hydrophonics etc. But again, my desire to own a farm land keeps growing and thats how I strated to explore what are the options available. My ultimate goal (not sure whether I can achieve it before retirement) is of sustainable living. To start with I don’t have any commercial interests, I would like to own an acre or two of land and start cultivating for our own requirement. I want to experiment with various vegetables/fruits/flowers, learn the basics and probably later on think of expanding and later get into a commercial mode.

So my current status is that I know nothing about agriculture and so I need to depend on my income from IT for my living for the time being. My idea is to own 1 or 2 acres of land in TN near to Hosur/Krishnagiri area which is a couple of hours of drive from bangalore. I would like to have a tiny farm house which will become my weekend destinatination. Initially I want to experiment with all varieties of veggies (including the winter crops like carrot, broccoli etc), paddy and fruits in really small scale so that I can use the harvest for my own consumption during week days. I am planning to go slow on this, step by step…

This is my dream for now. I have lot of questions and probably I should start exploring more so that I can realize this dream in another 6 months to one year period. i was glad that I found a like minded group which was a real inspiration and from whom I will be able to learn a lot. I would like to list down my queries and if the gurus can throw some light, from where I can take it forward.

  1. I think 1 acre of land will be enough for my current goal. Is buying land a good idea or should I lease it for 2-3 years. My budget for land is limited to 2-3 lakhs for the time being.
  2. Do banks provide loan for buying farm land? At lower rate :wink:
  3. Which locality is suitable. Since I wanted to grow winter crops too, do i need to find land in areas like denkanikottai?
  4. Its been my dream to have a farm near a river. Is that a remote possibility. Is such land available near kaveri in the above mentioned areas and if so will it cost a premium?
  5. what will be the best way to hunt for land. travel around and look for local brokers? anything to watch out for while buying land?
  6. Since I am going to be a weekend farmer, I certainly someone to take care of the farm. How easy is it to find labour. It will be great if someone can share their experience.
  7. How about security (from man and animals?) what aspects needs to be taken care?
  8. Do we need any special permission to construct a farm house?
  9. Basically i want to go organic and in addition try out hydrophonics. Can you tell me what are the best guides/books in these areas. Besides are there any specific books/websites that will give an intro to basics of agriculture (soil type, water sources, farming methods etc)
  10. Is there a local agricultural block office or something similar in TN which will provide guidance in agriculture?

Now that are the basic questions that are there in my mind. So if the gurus in the forum can help me, I will be really grateful.

Thanks
JVaidya

  1. I think 1 acre of land will be enough for my current goal. Is buying land a good idea or should I lease it for 2-3 years. My budget for land is limited to 2-3 lakhs for the time being.
    You will get plain land with no irrigation in interior places for this budget. If you double your budget you will get iirgated land.
  2. Do banks provide loan for buying farm land?
    Banks used provide purchasing loan only for coffe plantaion now that also stopped. But all nationalised banks give development loans. i.e. not for purchase. after purchasing for drip irrigation,farm equipments etc.
  3. Which locality is suitable. Since I wanted to grow winter crops too, do i need to find land in areas like denkanikottai?
    TN state is good in legal aspect. Hosur-Thali- these areas are fertile lands.  and within 60Km radius of Bangalore.
  4. Since I am going to be a weekend farmer, I certainly someone to take care of the farm. How easy is it to find labour. It will be great if someone can share their experience.
    Go thru references. You will have to find it from village side sources.
  5. Do we need any special permission to construct a farm house
    Yes. Farmhouse needs a permission from Grampanchayat. i.e. alienation.
  6. Basically i want to go organic and in addition try out hydrophonics. Can you tell me what are the best guides/books in these areas. Besides are there any specific books/websites that will give an intro to basics of agriculture (soil type, water sources, farming methods etc)
    You can study Subhash Palekars books. palekarzerobudgetspiritualfarmin … s_list.pdf
    You can visit vanashree.in/
    techie2aggie.blogspot.in/ (You can contact user “saverafarms” in this forum)

All the above are techies who has done what you are planning now.

quick reply for few questions only.

Sure, this should be good to start with, you want search for quarter acre farming too.

Yes, they do, there are certain limit (around 10-15% of total project cost), you can get it under NHM ( National Horticulture Mission) if you submit your complete project plan, you will get 25% subsidy too. You could NABARD sites too there are Land Development Bank who would give on certain condition.

Please note land records are available on the net, you could check bhoomi, one of the idicator is the crops grown and type of soil mentioned in RTC.

My experience ( KA) , its very tough to get a good and reliable one, who could execute your ideas, and if you are going with natural farming or some new concepts, it would be more difficult.