At a time when the youth are migrating from villages and small towns to big cities and foreign destinations in search of a bright future, this U.K.-educated engineering postgraduate left his high-flying career to become a farmer in his village near Bangalore. And, nearly 21 months after this move, he is not only satisfied with his decision, but is confident that one can earn as much as a techie from agriculture, provided you are innovative and alert. Twenty-eight-year-old Chetan Reddy, who has done postgraduation in structural engineering from London, has just proved that one can earn a decent living from farming. Mr. Reddy, who was honoured with the Young Progressive Farmer Award by the University of Agricultural Sciences on Saturday, during the International Krishi Mela, was the cynosure of all eyes at the award-presentation ceremony.
“I suddenly felt that it is better for me to be do something on my own rather than working for others. Even as this thought was haunting me, one fine day I also felt I need not continue in the engineering field just because I had done my postgraduation in engineering in London. The next option was taking over farming from my father,” Mr. Reddy told The Hindu .
“My relatives and fellow village residents were shocked when I quit my job to take up farming. But it was my family and friends who stood by me then,” he said.
In the six-acre land in Chokkasandra village, which is hardly six km from Electronics City of Bangalore, Mr. Reddy is experimenting with various hi-tech methods by opting for green house and shade net cultivation, along with the regular open-field farming. “I grow capsicum and chrysanthemum in the green house and shade net cultivation as that technology gives higher yield,” he said.
When other farmers complain about labour shortage, he has overcome that by adopting a system similar to what is being followed by call centres for its employees. “I have employed 11 labourers. My vehicle picks them up daily from four nearby villages and also drops them back. They work from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., which includes a lunch break of one hour and tea break of about 30 minutes. I give them food and also a daily wage of Rs. 140 which is paid at the end of the week,” he said.