Stepping in Agriculture

Hello,

I am an employed person in a private IT firm. With about 10 years of experience, I am very much tired and sick of this routine, machine like city life. I want to turn towards agriculture and lead a life close to Nature. Can I step into Agriculture? I have no land, no studies or experience in agri. Can someone guide me?

Regards
Jayakumar

Good topic. I know a lot of people who wish to go back to the basics and some who have actually done it.

I am not a farmer myself, but can tell you it is going to be hard initially but is worth the toil if you are passionate about it. Do you have the money to buy land and develop it? I am realizing the investment into a farm of economical size is significant.

Knowledge and experience can certainly be gained from books, talking to other farmers in person and on forums of course. You should find some related topics here: farmnest.com/forum/tags/?tagid=18

And read this too: farmnest.com/forum/farming-news- … discussion/

Good luck.

Thanks for the reply.

I am sure that some day I need to go back to simple way of living, that is in line with nature. I have some money to invest, but need to see where to invest. I am from Tamilnadu and think there are a lot of places.

I am already reading books on natural farming, but think nothing can parallel the actual experience.

Nice to hear that. I know these projects can take a lot of time, but do keep everyone posted once you begin - it will be interesting and useful to everyone else!

I have been trying to acquire a small piece of suitable land for several years now.

The first step would be reading up on the subject, the internet is a treasure trove of information on the subject. I would advise you to read “One straw revolution” by Masanonbu Fukuoka. Try and visit as many natural farmers in your area and learn from them.
Once you are convinced that you want to make the commitment and are ready to buy land dont wait too long because land prices are shooting up at a mind boggling rate at least close to major cities.
Be prepared for the fact that you may have no income or even be in the negative for the first few years because land development very often costs more than the land itself. Using the principles of natural farming will definitely help you in reducing overheads.
                                                                                      Regards,
                                                                                          Yaj.

yes. I have been reading quite a bit on agriculture related materials. I have also subscribed to a fortnightly tamil magazine, which is on natural farming.

I know that I will not be earning what I do now, for the first few years. Hence I am also looking at alternative arrangements for meeting my commitments  :slight_smile:.

I am also eager to join a group of people (like minded) who are interested in this and do community farming. Does anyone any group like this? Will that be successful?

Dear jayakumar,

Get practical training from the Krishi Vikas Kendra in your district.  The training is going to be started soon.  Please contact the nearest KVK.

To get the details of the KVK, use the URL indg.in/agriculture/locate-your-kvk

Best of Luck!!!

Regards
padmanabhan_ganesan@yahoo.co.in
9840807817

Jayakumar -

We were in the same spot in life a few years ago and wanted to lead the simple life. Having studies in some of the best institutions, worked for leading hi-tech industries in India and abroad, my brother and I were convinced that we do not want to live the mechanical life for much longer.

Like someone suggested above…look, learn and introspect.

Look around for success stories around you and your community. There will be plenty if you look hard enough. They do not have to be in agri only. Also talk to people who did not succeed and learn from their mistakes.

Learn about the subject, domain or field of interest. There is a lot of information available online, through free forums like this and free university / institutional publications. Do NOT pay for consultants at this stage. You will not need them until much later.

Introspect on your experiences and learnings. Just because you want a change from IT or feel excited about commercial / personal prospects of agri does not necessarily mean that you should jump right in. Start slow, get mentors, do not jeopardize your monthly income until you feel you are at a sustainable level.

Agri (almost of all types) is not an immediate cashflow business. More importantly, unlike mechanized or other business, there are a lot of variables often out of our control. It still offers many attractions to folks who are ‘done’ with the daily rut of a call center,  BPO or other urban pursuits.

Feel free to checkout how we are progressing in our venture at www.saverafarms.com. We’ll be happy to discuss our experiences with other young entrepreneurs.

Good luck.

Dear Mr. Johri,

Thanks for your long mail and the concern shown. As you had mentioned, I did not want to jump into Agri because of its commercial aspects, in the long run. I am more and more convinced that there are many techies that are produced by colleges everyday, but at the end, we need to eat rice / wheat, cereals and pulses. We cannot eat software programs or computer disks. We need quality vegetables. Only farmers can feed the world.

I am not looking at Agriculture to make profits all the way. I look at it as a way of live… art of living. My dream is to create an integrated farm for self sustainable life.

I will definitely look at advices and guidance from you. Since you have mentioned that you are from Tamilnadu, can you please let me know where you are. If I can, I shall come to your farm to understand the processes.

Thanks
Jay

Hello Mr Johri,

As with a lot of others on this forum, I am also from the IT field (since the past 15 years) and have been working on the idea of getting into agriculture since the past year or two sharing the same passion. I have actively started working on it in the past six months and would like to share my experiences with you and others on the forum.  My location would be in tamilnadu and I will be migrating with my family within 2 years of setting up the farm.

  1. Knowledge availability: (plenty on the internet, TNAU, ICAR, AGMARKNET, INDIAAGROONNET, IKISAN)

  2. Consultants: avoid avoid avoid, not generalizing but they do try to misguide and build a dependency

  3. Help: if you are thinking of starting in TN half the battle is won, contact TNAU, especially their agri business unit. they are very kind and will help you in your farm endeavour

After spending some time in tamilnadu to scout for land and other details the above are my learnings. I am back in mumbai now and the search continues

I have shortlisted two areas to purchase the land i.e. sivagangai and dindigul (the consultant I met last time was trying to sell me some land in ramnad)

it is a difficult process as most brokers have not idea about the actual property so the search continues. I am planning to start on a small scale but it all depends on the cost of land

my questions are the following

  1. what are the barries to entry? do the local producers create issues for new entrants?
  2. what are the non-pure risks?

my plan is as follows,

cultivate banana (G9 or others) which will be the primary crop
mid-long term startegy is to go for tree crops (fruit, timber, shade)
livestock (to complete the circle for integrated farming)

follow the practice of sustainable and integrated agriculture

the first year i would like to only do farm trials with help from TNAU to understand the land potential, best cropping pattern, ideal nutrient mix etc and prepare the land (fencing etc) and plant some tree crops after desiging the farm layout

second year i would like to start with banana cultivation and further expand the tree crops

i kindly request all who could give me some guidance in this plan. i have met TNAU officials and they are generally quiet helpful. at the moment land search is going on

regards,
Brijesh

Hello Mr. Brijesh,

Good to know your experiences and sharing them. I am from TN and I am also looking at relocating to a village / town where I can procure a piece of land.

Initially, I did not contact any agents / consultants, but had gone through some of my friends. One of my friend’s relatives are agriculturists and they are helping me to find lands. They are in Tiruvarur district which is known to be a fertile land.

They suggest that I purchase 1 acre of land initially and grow Coconuts / Banana / Mango trees and allocate a small piece of land for Rice cultivation. I may also plan to plan to cultivate vegetables.

One more contact also mentioned that growing coconuts is a good start.

We will keep sharing ideas.

while this may be a practical idea to start off with, i would like to think that there may be downsides to this for people like us who are trying to move into cultivation as a main stream although i may be incorrect in my thinking, some of which are as follows

  1. you would typically end up paying a lot more premium for a small piece of land as you will need this property to  have alteast free EB and borewell

  2. the moment you try to expand, there may be constraints and cartels which could prevent you from procuring additional land nearby

the following upsides come to my mind

  1. small land, can concentrate fully and more easy to manage
  2. good opportunity to build local contacts and relationships
  3. ideal for farm trials
  4. ideal to test and understand legalities of the system

i’ll share what i am doing at the moment

am compiling season & crop report along with rainfall, soil statistics by district along with a little bit of swot analysis. this may potentially give me a fair idea of the best value for money land and shortlist district/taluk combinations at a high level limiting the area for search

i have understood one thing though, to procure land you need to spend a lot of foot time in TN physically, remote does not give results

vegetables have high market sensitivity is what i understand

even though multicropping is good, doing it on a large scale commercially can be quiet a challenge…my plan is to use banana, sugarcane as primary cash crops (short-medium term) and go in for fruit and tree crops for the medium and long term. a couple of years down the line when i have more experience then i may go into vegetable cultivation though will rather opt to do it in a greenhouse

by my research so far districts i think where good land can be found at a reasonable price could be dindigul, theni and sivagangai (most likely) but again brokers can be quiet useless…best to give an advertisement in local newspapers and dailies could be a good alternative

please correct me if i am wrong in any of the above…any advice is welcome and greatly appreciated

Going full time in to farming with just an acre, particularly with long term crops that have a gestation period of a few years would be advisable only if you are testing the waters with a separate source of income.
Unless you have a size of farm that is economically sustainable and covers the overheads - such as travel and fixed costs, I don’t think you will produce any net income of it.

hello all,

I have been unresponsive on this for a long time.

Thanks Mr. Chandra for your insight. I completely understand that it is very difficult to make any income with a small piece of land (like 1 acre), without any second stream of income.

For a person like me, who cannot afford to buy something like 5 or 10 acres, what is the best way to get into agriculture? Can you please advice?

I am of a firm belief that I should get into agriculture, following natural farming methods and live a life aligned with nature.

what should I do. I am not making any progress.

Regards
Jay

Hi JayKumar,

If you are interested i can arrange land in lease with a plug and play option of all amenities

It will be about 30kms form tinidivanam towards chennai, about 90kms from chennai.

Regards,
Antony
antonypratap.e@gmail.com

Hi Antony,

please can you provide more details of this lease arrangement?

regards,
brijesh

What Antony suggests seems to be a good idea - did you consider leasing?
It will also give you  a chance to try it out before committing yourself fully.

Chandra

I have two pieces of land pretty much adajacent to each other with interconnecting pipes, one is 5.6 acres and the other is 3.6 acres both have well, free power and labour quarters, we just took paddy from it few month ago, we also did groundnut, maize in the same piece of land, the land belongs to my clients and we intend to lease them since i have taken bigger projects and don’t do anything less than 25 acres currently.

asking price is 10K/acre/year it a perfect plug and play options both the lands are fully fenced too.

Regards,
Antony
antonypratap.e@gmail.com

Antony,

Please can you pm me your contact details?

regards,
Brijesh

I meant phone number