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.
But are these career options the only way to be successful? Definitely not.
Meet Pramod, a former automobile engineer who switched to farming in 2006, and now gets a yearly turnover of a crore, after implementing a radically different method of cultivation.
In 2006, after feeling unsatisfied in his job as an automobile engineer, Pramod abandoned engineering and decided to give farming an earnest shot on his 26-acre ancestral land.
Initially, Pramod faced his share of challenges. He planted white groundnuts and turmeric but reaped no benefits.
Availability of labour was another big issue as workers preferred to migrate to cities and work in factories. Pramod decided to switch to other crops and modern farm equipment, which were not so labour intensive. An example of such types of equipment used by some Indian farmers is the driverless tractor technology – developed by Mahindra for such situations.
Incidentally, farmers like Pramod can make such choices now since, unlike before, they do not have to buy all the equipment. Even with a low budget, they can rent farm equipment using apps like Trringo.
In 2007-08, Pramod switched wholly to horticulture. He planted oranges, guavas, lemons, sweet limes, raw bananas and Toor Dal. Pramod also decided to start his own mill.
Pramod sells the processed and unpolished pulses under the brand name of ‘Vandana’. He has an annual turnover of about Rs. 1 crore from his dal mill and an additional Rs 10-12 lakh from horticulture, which is much more than what he was earning as an engineer!