What are the steps involved in planning an agriculture project on barren land

Hello!

I am helping plan a project for conversion of barren land into agriculture land.  What are the various steps involved in planning the conversion?

Here is what I have:

Step 1: Soil testing

Step 2:  Identify potential crops / plants:  what are the steps involved in evaluating feasibility of various crops / plants?

Step 3:  Budgeting and planning plantation / sowing of a set of plants / crops that meet feasibility criteria.

I need to fill in details in each of the steps and also identify budget for each step.  How do I go about doing this?  I need to first create a summary plan before obtaining budgetary approval.

Thanks!

See some discussion here
farmnest.com/forum/natural-farmi … 6/#msg9696

Plan for wind break, see below discussion

farmnest.com/forum/agricultural- … /#msg10354

Please refer to the attached doc for windbreak systems

Sri!

Thanks for the link.  Very useful indeed.

I would like to ask a few follow on questions:

From what I understood from the forum (farmnest.com/forum/natural-farmi … 6/#msg9696), there are three key steps:

1.  Soil testing.
2.  Soil preparation: tilling and cover crops.
3.  Planting saplings.

I am trying to understand each process / step in detail.

1.  How do I estimate the cost and time involved in soil testing?

2.  How do I estimate cost of tilling / cost of planting cover crops?
    2.a.:  Some people suggest use of organic manure / compost in barren land.  Is this advisable? 
              What is the cost and time involved in using organic compost?

3.  How do I estimate cost of planting?

4.  Papaya seems to be widely recommended fruit for barren land.  Why is that?

Thanks!

1.  How do I estimate the cost and time involved in soil testing?
15 days. I got it for free of cost from MCF fertiliser company. You can get get it done from nearest KVK. They may charge you 50/- sample.

2.  How do I estimate cost of tilling / cost of planting cover crops?
Cost of tilling is per hour basis. Tractors charge 600-700 dpending on soil. duration per acre will depend on what type plough you are using. for shallow tilling go for Chisel plugh or duck foot plough. Farmers call it 5 blade plough

    2.a.:  Some people suggest use of organic manure / compost in barren land.  Is this advisable? 
You can use. Do you have compost already?
              What is the cost and time involved in using organic compost?
To prepare a microorganism based compost it will take 45-to 60 days. If you dont use micro organisms it will take 90-120days.

3.  How do I estimate cost of planting?
Planting Material(10-12/plant of papaya) +Pit digging(7-9Rs cft of pit you can go for 8cft pit for papaya )+ Labour cost(better to give contract they may charge 15 to 20K/acre) + Manure cost (if you buy organic manure 8500/ton)

4.  Papaya seems to be widely recommended fruit for barren land.  Why is that?
There is no such rule. Papaya needs regular/controled watering do you have water availibility?

Dear Sri:

Thank you so much for your replies.

Water is scarce.  I am looking at buying barren land in Rajasthan (25-50 acre) and try cultivating some plantation.

1.  I do not have the compost already.  Does it help to spend 8000 Rs/Tonne of compost per acre of land? 

    1.1:  Is there a trade off in using compost to mix with the land vs doing cover crops?  Which one is advisable and why?

    1.2:  How much time would I spend in cover crops?

    1.3:  During the cover crop time: I can not do any revenue generating activity, right?

2.  What are good ways to detrmine what fruit plant / other cros I can grow in the lands I am looking at?

3.  What is a good way to prepare a whole project plan with costs?

Sri you have been incredibly helpful.

Thanks!

First decide what crop you want.I dont think papaya is possible for you with scarce water. It is diificult for me to suggest you anything because I have limited knowledge about your area.

But you can visit some progressiv farmers and learn what you can grow.

Green manure crops needs 3-5 months. you can grow Green manure + any commercial crop but effect is less.

Agriculture cannot be run as per project management 100% so you need a big contigency plan. But with good experience you can do this.

See my comments inline.

I like the last line very much…