Good day to all actual farmers, budding ones and the enthusiasts!!
I am an expatriate who will be going home on retirement and want to be a full time farmer. So far, I can only claim to have some book-fed knowledge and would like advice.
I have bought 8 acres of a hilly land with rubber plantation in Trichur, Kerala and the trees are fit for slaughter now and is ready for replanting next year. I want to convert the rubber plantation to a multi-crop farming due to several reasons: (a) the shortage of skilled tappers; (b) long time in getting returns from rubber (7-8 years); © inter-cropping not possible between rubber trees; (d) feel more income can be generated if inter-cropping is done.
Thus - I want to go by Palekar’s ZBNF model but the biggest problem is water scarcity in the land. We plan to dig a bore well and then try drip irrigation. My questions to farming community are (a) is it possible to do ZBNF 5 layer model with rainwater only or with little water and what is the best model for water-less cultivation? I will have a small cattleshed (5-6 desi cows) and would like to have a solar fencing around 7 acres - how expensive this could be? Since it is a windy area, solar fencing will be reinforced by natural fencing - what trees can I plant for a natural barrier (teak, bamboo, manchium, mahagonry (rosewood) are suggested.
1, Can you give me some guidelines and details of people who do solar fencing in Kerala
2. What rainwater harvesting models can I do in a hilly region… any details of personnel who can do that for me.
I will be attending ZBNF 1 week course in February and hope to understand more of this and will update you all on what I gained… in the meantime any creative suggestions are welcome. Thank you one and all. Regards. Jayan