What can I grow here?

Hi all,

Im a farming enthusiast. Absolutely no clue about farming but I’m willing to invest money, efforts and time into making my dream of moving from the city to a farming life. Im looking to purchase land in karnataka close to the western ghats. I’m more inclined towards natural farming on about 10-20 acres of land. There are different pieces of land I’m contemplating to buy. Before i go ahead and purchase land, I need to know what I can grow on different soil types as mentioned below. 

  1. lateritic soil at the base covered by shades and mixed with humus known as Kagadaii soil.
  2. lateritic soil mixed with gravelly soil derived from granites and sandy soil.
  3. Red loam derived from laterite and traps
  4. Coastal lateritic soil

During my frequent travel to coastal karnataka, I usually notice plenty of coconut and arecanut plantations. I have to mention that I will be investing most of my savings in buying the land and will hold back some money for working capital. Therefore, my aim is to grow things that can yield faster say within say 8-12 months so i can keep the cash flow intact to provide for my family.  I dont want to depend on harvests that are too labor dependent and require something that demands minimum presence of me. Yes, for the 1st one year I cant be much in the farm due to commitments and I will be totally relying on hired help to do most of the work like planting etc ( I will be paying occasional visits). Once the farm is fully setup i will live on the farm. Atleast that’s the idea. Your thoughts/comments/feedback on what and how to progress will be very helpful.

Sorry if I’m asking too much for a start.  Mods please feel free to move this to the relevant section if its not appropriate here.

Hi agri_exec,

I am sure other members will chip in with info.

You could also try reaching out to cowherd by a PM or an email - he is in the western ghats and is an awesome and helpful guy (as long as you are nice :)))
farmnest.com/forum/index.php?act … file;u=375


Thanks a lot. I would appreciate if cowherd or other members can chip in here on the forum so all can view the replies.
You have a great forum here. Good luck.

Apart from having to figure out what I can grow in these various pieces of land, I’m faced with another dilemma.  As I have mentioned most of the plots I have in mind are in the western ghats. These are remote places far away from cities. There is nothing around except small villages around. My concern is “marketing/selling” my produce. There are small towns around in the vicinity of 70-100 kms but then again these places may not be the best places to sell your produce?

I have this pretty bad habit of planning everything. Maybe an off shoot of what I do at work . But I guess its a valid concern I have if i’m looking at sustaining myself on the farm.  Any bright ideas on how to counter these problems??

If you were to ask me where my land is, I wouldn’t tell  cause I have not purchased it yet. But I’m looking at a few pieces of land in the western ghats.

Wow!! No help yet:(

the biggest problem in this area is of lab our. just you do not have labour in this area.
this is the major reason for farmers selling their lands.
it appears this area is in dakshina kannada jilla of karnataka.


Thanks. I’m contemplating both uttara (north) and dakshina (south) kanara districts of karnataka. I prefer north kanara due to personal reasons :slight_smile:  . I do know that labour is a major hindrance for many of us. Therefore, any bright ideas for farming without requiring plenty of labour?? Typically, is there a thumb rule sort of thing in terms of labour required per acre for most crops?

I am no expert but here are my views.
Look for something close to the city ~ 100km/1.5 hours - would be great to fly there quickly and get the produce to the market.

I think soil should be manageable as long as it is not ‘corrosive’ and not too sandy or clayey. One can apply organic or inorganic methods to build up the nutrients. Labour is a constraint but possibly can be addressed by applying some innovative methods.

While getting into farming is great, there is certainly a vast difference between the romance and practicality of farming - so I would say one step at a time while you get a better understanding of it! :slight_smile:


How I wish cheap land was available within 100 odd Kms from the city.  The land I’m looking at is about 50 kms from a place called sirsi which is the biggest horticulture producer in karnataka. So, despite being far away from the major cities but being close to sirsi maybe a good thing? I have to explore further on this.

I agree with your thoughts on the “practicality” of farming. But then why do something where there is no “romance”? :slight_smile:
All these years, I was just hoping and dreaming of being on a farm. Now, I am glad that I have begun to take baby steps(including being on this forum) in order to acquire land and making my dream a possibility.

Dear Agri exec,

First of all let me congratulate you on the decision to do something concrete about your dreams. That is a very important first step.
Secondly, you have rightly said - why do something where there is no romance? It is very important to never lose that view, and never become cynical. That would simply defeat the whole purpose. :wink:
I have also bought land in the western ghats of Maharashtra (Kolhapur district) and am starting out to develop it in small steps, so we could be fellow travelers - if you actually buy that plot… :slight_smile:
I have realised that the biggest challenge (at least in Maharashtra hilly regions) is the near absence of understanding of the natural environment that one lives and works in. Most farmers are operating from ignorance, traditional knowledge seems to be disappearing rapidly and people seem to be stumbling from one year to the next by imitation.
The entry of fresh educated people could well turn out to be the single best thing to happen to agriculture in the next decade. Over the last couple of decades, a trend has started where the least educated brother stays home to farm, while the others run to the nearest city to hunt for jobs. This semi skilled farmer’s limitations of knowledge (of all kinds) are being exposed rapidly in today’s scenario and that is why people are abandoning agriculture. It is a big subject but not impossible to understand…
Meanwhile, I suggest you keep looking for that dream farm and go ahead and take the plunge. The area you are looking at is blessed with abundant water, biodiversity and a strong culture of farming. It should be a good choice.
Dont let the labor shortage bother you - it is something that everybody will have to deal with. We will simply have to work harder - and hard physical activity should be one of the assumptions and even an objective or else one would not be speaking of farming, right?
Cheers and keep in touch!


Thanks for your encouraging words. Really helps.

It is indeed heartening to see young educated people willing to take up agriculture. But more people need to look at agriculture not just from an economic perspective but also from a holistic perspective. This is such a nice world we live in but presently at the mercy of rapid urbanization.

Just to update you on what i have doing so far

  • I have located a piece of land but have never seen it in real. Seen only a couple of photos. I have asked to owner of the land to send me more photos of the land.  I plan to visit the place asap.
    -I am trying to check history of the land via various sources to see if the land is disputed etc etc.
    -I have requested some of my relatives to pay a visit to the surrounding areas to see what most farmers are growing/doing.
  • I have called up the local horticulture/Agriculture department to get their feedback on the general soil types/ water type, source/ grown crops and potential of growing various high value crops in that area. The guy i talked to doesn’t have all the info ready but has promised to update in a week’s time.
  • I am in the process of establishing contact with the local electricity officer to discuss possibility of getting a connection. Most of my phone calls at this point is a sheer waste of time as no one seems to know who is responsible for this area.
  • I’m trying to talk to someone in the local gram panchayat to get a genereal outlook about this village and its potential etc . Not sure if its a right thing to do but no harm checking?

Have lots to do. Lets keep in touch.

Try reading my post at farmnest.com/forum/new-trends-in … 9/#msg3149

Do send some pics of the soil but you should be able to grow ,ost horticulture crops.

Regarding marketing is concerned, you should be able to sell short term crops in near by mandis. Do look into that. Sometimes, people will come to your farm and procure the produce.


Thanks. I will be drawing samples of the soil and water in a few days. So should have reports in Feb. Will keep you posted.
You can see 3 pics of the land on this thread -->  farmnest.com/forum/general-farm- … inions/15/


Hi Duo Agri exec & Naren,
You no need to worry about labour or marketing.
At the time of plantation itself you can eliminate such problems by selecting crop pattern.
To develop it may take 2 to 3 years time during which at most care has to take either by you or any of your representative.
Once crops starts than if you may not able to care taking, harvesting marketing, you can sell the standing crops in orchard.

The person who purchase the crop will take care of entire activities about which you are worrying.

You go ahead with selecting land on your own choice because owning land and getting marrying will be once in lifetime.
Like starting crops should also for life time not for short time with less dependency of water,labour, power etc.
Horticulture crops can address your doubts and worries perfectly.

Do you need more? You can come up all the time. happy farming for satisfaction of life.

Thanks Swamy, I have sorted out a lot of of the issues i had initially. Currently, the land papers are being examined. Hopefully matter of a month or two before I nail it.

Hi Agri_exec,

Thats nice development. Is it near Sirsi or somewhere else ??



Murali, Yes close by

Dear agri_exec,
I also come from that place and have common interest, is it possible to connect with you?

if u ready to do invest on cultivation,here is a good info
please get in touch.

I will be failing in my duty if I do not reply this topic.The Laterite soils as mentioned is not fertile or is poor in fertility.Agricultural activities in such soils produce poor results.They thus are not suitable for agriculture. They are coarse in texture due to their exposure to excessive rains high temperatures etc.They are also poor in nitrogen, phosphoric acid, potash and urea. These soils are red in colour as it is mixed with iron oxides. Plants like cashew can be grown well along with Tapioca.Black pepper can be supported on cashew trees.Less suitable for agriculture except with the help of fertilizers.Though it is said that amla and lemon grass can grow even in infertile land but it can be tried to see the results.I have never tried any such crops.