Smart agriculture can make you rich like farmer Rajiv Bittu
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.
Rajiv is a part-time Chartered Accountant and a full-time farmer. And according to him, he earns more from farming than his chartered accountancy firm!
After his three-year-old daughter refused to mingle with farmers during one of his visits to his ancestral village, Rajiv decided to take up farming to change her views. His first step was to lease some land in Kuchu village, 32 km away from Ranchi.
As he did not have the funds to pay rent for the land, he offered the landlord 1/3rd of the produce he grew. And thus his journey into agriculture began. He made use of the latest technology, like drip irrigation and mulching, to get a maximum yield at his farm.
“Drip irrigation is the best way to reduce water wastage and labour cost, while mulching is nothing but a thin layer of plastic in which holes are made to put the seeds. This restores the sun rays for a long time and retains humidity of the soil. It also restricts the growth of weeds around the main crop,” Rajeev tells us from his farm.
Halfway into 2014, Rajeev had a good harvest of watermelon and muskmelon. But the profit did not do justice to the investment.
He then divided the land into small segments and calculated the investment made, labour cost, and the profit gained from each part. This gave him a clear idea of the economics of the farm. Rajeev planted different crops in each segment to calculate the exact ‘investment versus profit’ ratio of each harvest. This helped him to decide what crops should be planted next.
Rajeev has now taken 32 acres of farm on lease and is growing brinjal, cucumber, watermelon, muskmelon and tomato and earns a profit of around Rs 15 to 16 lakh every year.