Even whereas working for a multi-national automobile manufacturing firm, Kottayam-native Mathewkutty Tom’s need was to hitch his household in their farming enterprise. After spending three years in international automobile firms, he shifted to his hometown and took cost of the farmland, which was beforehand run by his father.
“I took this as a problem as a result of I actually needed to do farming. I had a burning need to maintain my household’s legacy of farming. My dad and mom have been completely satisfied to again this resolution, which enhanced my confidence,” says Mathewkutty to The Higher India.
It has been seven years since he took up full time farming. He says that probably the most evident problem he has noticed throughout this era is that conventional farmers are sometimes exploited by middlemen.
When he left his job in 2014 and opted for agriculture, Mathewkutty knew nothing about this downside. However when he started farming on the 18-acre ancestral land in Pala, he was unable to make any huge income within the first two years.
“I began by persevering with the present cultivation of paddy, banana and some each day greens. However quickly, issues emerged to find labourers, in addition to advertising and marketing and promoting. When the produce was taken to the market, the demand and value have been too low,” he remembers.
Among the many produce on his farm have been coconut, arecanut, nutmeg, tubers and different greens, in addition to fruits together with jackfruit, mango, papaya, rambutan and mangosteen. “I used natural fertilisers and the produce was of excellent high quality. However market charges are all the time low and one share is taken by the middlemen,” he says.
“This leaves us with nothing besides the price and losses to bear. Being an MBA graduate, I considered incorporating some enterprise strategies and turning into an agripreneur as a substitute of a conventional farmer.”
A thriving farm
The 32-year-old opted for built-in or blended farming — rising crops and breeding animals on one farm, allowing wider crop rotations, and utilizing the waste of 1 produce as meals for an additional.
As an illustration, as a substitute of planting 1,000 saplings of brinjal alone, Mathewkutty started rising 200 saplings of 5 totally different greens.
TJT Farm now produces and sells virtually all forms of greens and fruits, in addition to decorative fish and birds.
He additionally grows seasonal greens and unique fruits, from and he earns upto Rs 5 lakh by promoting a mean of two tonnes of produce monthly, he says. The produce is especially offered on to clients via his retailer within the locality, or delivered at residence.
“The crops have an excellent market as they’re grown organically utilizing in-house fertilisers and pesticides constituted of the excreta of animals bred on the farm. We additionally take huge orders for any specific occasions or events,” shares the agripreneur.
The best benefit of this built-in farming mannequin, he says, is the utilisation of waste.
For instance, the excreta of duck, goat, buffalo and rooster is a superb manure for vegetation, he says. Mathewkutty even sells this for manure individually. “I cost Rs 2.5 to Rs 8 per kg for excreta of rooster, pig, goat and buffalo. Farmers are my main clients. City terrace gardeners additionally contact me for buying them,” he says. This comes as a further revenue and ensures that the vegetation are grown organically.
Animal waste can be utilized in a biogas plant positioned contained in the farm. This covers all the household’s and processing unit’s LPG wants all year long. “In reality, on the finish of the day, completely no waste stays on the farm. We clear it each day and guarantee correct hygiene and well being of the animals.”
The fodder for a lot of the animals can be grown in a half-acre house contained in the farm. This helps minimize down prices, he says.
TJT can be teeming with unique fruits like rambutan and mangosteen. “There are 300 jackfruit bushes on the farm, that are round three years previous,” he provides. Moreover, there may be mango, papaya, nutmeg, cashew, ardour fruit and extra.
Mathewkutty’s effort in constructing a profitable farm has been recognised twice by the state authorities. He acquired the Younger Farmer Award of the Kerala authorities in 2015 and Younger Farmer Award of the Kerala State Animal Husbandry Division in 2022.
He says, “A superb variety of farmers are leaving the sector in quest of higher revenue and alternatives. However we can’t deny the truth that farming is an integral a part of the financial system and fundamental want for survival. As a substitute of sticking to conventional farming strategies and tolerating the exploitation of middlemen, it’s higher to start out your personal ventures. This may want a bit extra funding and energy however in the long term, success is assured. I hope extra children step up into the sector with out hesitation and educate new methods of getting agriculture executed.”
Edited by Divya Sethu; Picture Credit: Mathewkutty Tom