How to be your own farmer

Eight things you need to know before you become a farmer, according to Venkat Iyer, author of Moong Over Microchips

Many of us dream of living on a farm someday. A small house overlooking a pond, land where you grow your own food, no traffic jams and no deadlines to meet. While most just dwell on it, techie-turned-farmer, Venkat Iyer, made it happen. We have heard his story: he quit IBM in 2003 and moved to Peth, a village near Mumbai, a year later. “Farming was a new skill that I had to learn from scratch and, unlike software or hardware, there were no manuals or help buttons to guide me,” he says. Fifteen years and many harvests later, Iyer reveals what it takes to make the switch in his recently-released book, Moong Over Microchips. He shares with Weekend his step-by-step guide to being your own farmer:

1. Search for soil

The first thing to look for is land, says Iyer, who was lucky within a few months of his search. “Check the soil. Is it clayey or loamy? That will determine the kind of crops you can grow. There is no point in having a thin layer of soil on top and a rocky ground underneath. All you will get are a few weeds.”

2. Water woes

Next on the checklist is water. In Iyer’s case, his land’s location was a huge blessing. “The river was flowing so close to my land that all I had to do was pump it to irrigate my fields.” When buying a farm, it is important to look at the source of water. “Ask these questions,” he says, “If you’re depending on a river or lake, how far is it? Will you be able to bring the water to the land? Is it enough for what you want to do?”....Read more


Source web page: The hindu


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