Drought! Loans! Untimely rains! Low market prices! It often seems like farmers have endless suffering in their lives.
Perhaps that’s one of the reasons why none of us wants our kids to become a farmer. Instead, we all want them to immerse themselves in law or medical books so they can make their careers a big success.
Another engineer, Harish left his government job to take up Aloe Vera farming in Rajasthan – which proved highly successful, earning him crores.
Once he decided to farm on his ancestral land in Jaisalmer, one of the first things that Harish did was to get his soil tested by the agricultural department.
“The agriculture department suggested I grow crops like Bajra, Moong or Gawar – crops that require less water. They did not suggest growing Aloe Vera, in spite of the fact that we were already cultivating it, because of a lack of market opportunities for the crop in the Jaisalmer area,” says Harish.
However, Harish did his own research online through resources like MyAgriGuru, which connects farmers with agri-experts across the country to allow an exchange of ideas. Harish discovered that if he set his sight further afield and used online portals to get to national and international markets, he could easily sell his produce well.
Harish’s initial 80,000 saplings quickly grew in number to seven lakh. Within six months Harish managed to get ten clients for his Aloe Vera within Rajasthan itself. But soon discovered that they, in turn, were selling the extracted pulp at much higher prices. So he trained his farm labourers to extract the pulp, giving them all some extra income.
Over the years, Harish has bought more land and now grows Aloe Vera over a hundred acres. His company, Dhandev Global Group, is located in Dhaisar, 45 kilometres from Jaisalmer in Rajasthan and his turnover ranges between Rs. 1.5 to 2 crore.
Through the above three stories, you may believe that only educated farmers can be successful. But that is hardly the case.