A Proven Technology To Retain And Attract Youth To Agriculture

By TamilNadu Agricultural University on 31 Jul 2015 | read

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What is it that spurs an individual to quit a Government job and take up farming as a full time profession?Or why does an MBA student be more interested to become a full time farmer than work in a company?“If the annual agriculture income is more than a salaried income, youngsters will take the plunge into it.Unlike the old adage that agriculture comprises only old people into their 60’s, today the interest among present day educated youth and their dedication towards farming is an encouraging sign that theagriculture scene is going through a renaissance,” says Dr.B.J. Pandian, Director & Nodal Officer (TNIAMWARMProject), Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore. 

Partnership mode:

 Dr. Pandian is presently in charge of the project for entire Tamil Nadu, where precision technologies areoffered to willing farmers.Under this technology, drip lines, tanks, mulching sheets, soluble fertilizers, seedlings and a good marketsource are supplied under a partnership mode free of cost for the first year. The farmer on his side needsto invest about Rs. 10,000. 

From the second year, the farmers will have to buy the inputs. But the specialist team would be helpinghim with the right market linkages. 

“Apart from the inputs marketing is the most important factor. Mere technologies and advice withoutmarketing help will not secure a cent per cent success for any field-based project,” says Dr. Pandian. 

Since last six years:

 For the last six years since it was first introduced in Krishnagiri and Hosur regions the project continues toremain popular in Kanchipuram, Tiruvannamalai and in Marakanam (Puducherry) areas.“Tiruvannamalai and Marakkanam are basically oilseeds and pulse growing regions, but for the past oneyear since the precision project was introduced, there has been a marked move among farmers to go infor watermelon, muskmelon and vegetables cultivation,” says Dr. Pandian.MBA graduate 

An MBA graduate, Mr. B.Karthikeyan was one of the first to adopt this precision technology, initially in 40cents in Marakanam village.In three months he was able to earn nearly Rs. 50,000 as income. 

Today he is growing fruits in his entire four acres and earns Rs. 12 lakh a year from an acre. In additionhe has taken up dealership of micro irrigation tubes for helping other farmers under the scheme in theregion. 

“If I had been working in a private company I would have been drawing a gross salary of Rs. 50,000 amonth. In a year, I would have earned about Rs. 6 lakh but in three months I am able to earn Rs. 12 lakh from muskmelon under this project,” he says with a smile.A bus conductor, Mr. S.Venkatesan, in Alankuppam village used to get Rs.700 day as collection money.But after trying this project he quit his job and is presently a full-time farmer. 

Personal experience:

 “Initially I was quite happy with the everyday income but when I heard about the income some of myfriends were getting from the project“I also wanted to try it out in my ancestral three acres. I planted both muskmelon in 0.93 acres andwatermelon in one acre and was able to harvest 24 tonnes of musk melon fetching me a profit margin ofRs.2.46 lakh and my 20 tonnes of watermelon fetching 1.7 lakh. 

“Within 70 days I was able to get a total income of 4,16,000. Can any other work fetch me such anamount?” he asks.

Another example:

 Mr. N. Thirumal from Alankuppam village owned only two acres of land with annual income of Rs. 18,000.After witnessing the many successful farmers in his village, he started capsicum cultivation during2011.Now he has bought an additional two acres for Rs. 12.6 lakh and two plots close to Puducherry atan investment of 27 lakhs.At present the University is organizing field days, trainings and exposure visits to create a massive impactamong the farmers about this technology. 

More young people:

 “We are seeing a number of youths in the age group of 25-30 years actively coming forward to try this outin their fields. 

“This only proves that a remunerative income is the only way to retain or bring back youth into this fastdecliningfield. 

“Mere theory, oration or advice will never work with today’s youth. They need to see and get convincedthemselves. Once they get convinced they will easily pull others into it,” sums up Dr. Pandian. 

For more details contact 

Dr. B.J. Pandianemail: directorwtc@tnau.ac.inphone: 0422- 6611278, 6611478Mobile: 94432 86711.