Covering of Pits.. Planting trees on the borders

It’s been a long time after the pits were dug. The pits had to be left uncovered for at least 15 days so that, the inner soil get exposed to the sunlight and also to rain.

After about 20 days we started putting back the inner soil into the pits. The top soil was still left open near the pits.

In the mean while fencing of the land with chain mesh started. This cost was high as the fencing poles were prepared with cement and 8mm rods. Around 165 poles were built.

Once the fencing was completed, we now have started closing the pits with top soil. The top soil of each pit is mixed with 20kgs of farm yard manure, 200 gms of single super phosphate, 200 gms of organic neem cake. The entire process of closing the pits is very labour intensive and finding labor everyday is difficult these days due to MANREGA.

FYM costed 1200rs per tractor and the fertilizers cost about 6000.. Atleast 15 tractors load of farm yard manure is required to cover the entire pits.

Horticulture dept, Govt of Telagana issues proceedings sanctioning 90% subsidy on drip irrigation cost and also 10% mobilization advance is issued to the drip irrigation కం any. Expecting the drip to be installed before 10th of this August, do that the mango plantation can be done before 15th August..

Planted 110 trees of Red sandal wood, Sri Gandham(white Sandal wood) and coconut trees each apart from other plants along the boundary.

The drip irrigation installation is getting delayed badly and the reason being told is that the delay is due to GST. I don’t understand how GST is affecting in supply of Drip Irrigation.

The delays are one of the major detterants in entering into agriculture.

Digging of Pits for UHDP Mango plantation

It took some days to get the process going due to the shortage of JCBs, labour due to high temperatures. Finally, we could get the JCB for digging the pits.

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The field was marked with a distance of 12 feet between the rows and 6 ft between the trees. The markings looked very close since its only 6 ft distance between the plants. The JCB worked for about 50 hrs to dig 1500 pits in 3.00 acre area. The pits were dug 2.5-3ft depth and 1.5 ft width. The top soil was put on the left side and the inner soil was put on the right side, so as to enable to put the inner soil back after 15 days. The top soil will be mixed with Farm Yard manure ( 2kg each pit), 200 gm neem cake, Super phosphate, NPK etc and closed after 10 days. Rs.37,000/- was incurred for digging the pits.

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The fencing work will start on 6th June 2017. We have hired a contractor who works on Govt. project and the workers will come from Hyderabad to our village and the entire work will be done there. Putting up chain/link fencing to avoid any chances of deers/Forest pigs or other animals to enter the field and destroy the plantation. The entire field will be covered with about 160 poles, each at a distance of 8 ft. The poles will be of 7.5 ft, with 1.5ft in to the ground and 6ft above the ground. The poles will be constructed with cement, concrete,iron rods.

Right now, letting the pits to soak in the Sun and rain so that any germs will also be killed and the soil will be exposed to the climate. The inner soil will be put back into the pit on 10th & 11th June and the top soil will be mixed with the above mentioned material and put back in the pits on 19th June.

The plants will be delivered by Jain Irrigation system on 23rd/24th June and the plantation will be done from 25th – 27th June.

Will post more pics on 12th June.. Thanks

Fixing of Motor to the Borewell

Motor had to be fixed to the borewell which was digged and Electricity connection had to be obtained. Called 3 motor company dealers and finalised on Tiruaml Engg, Mahabubnagar.

The motor with the following specifications was purchased:

7.5HP Texmo Motor

Jindal G.I Pipes, L& T Wire etc.

The motor pump people had come to the filed at 3.00pm (scheduled times was 11.00am), since it was motorised fitting, it was completed in 1 hr 30 mins apprx. 16 pipes of 20 ft each and 3 pipes of 10 ft each were inserted.  The process was smooth and the electricity connection was also provided. Total length is 355 ft from the ground.

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I had also applied for the Drip Irrigation and submitted all the documents. The Horticulutre official was also present and clicked pictures with the Borewell running and with him & the farmer at the backdrop, so as a proof that this borewell genuinely belongs to the farmer.  The drip irrigation company (Bangaru Drip) will provide the estimation to the Horticulture dept. and the difference amount i.e. 10% of the total amount has to be paid by the farmer and the Telanagana Govt. provides 90% subsidy. The entire process is expected to be completed within 15 days and the drip irrigation machinery will be installed before 15th May 2017.

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Applied for Electricity connection and provided the required documents and arranged Demand Draft for providing connection in the name of the farmer. It is expected to receive the connection in 7 days.

The total amount incurred so far:

  1. Geologist                                       : Rs,.15,000/-
  2. Borewell                                       : Rs.40,000/-
  3. Electricity Connection               : Rs.7,000/-
  4. Motor,Pump, Fixing charges    : Rs.98,000/-
  5. Miscellaneous charges              :  Rs. 5,000/-

                                              Total –Rs.1,65,000/–

The following is the next phase of events:

  1. Marking and digging of trenches at a distance of 12 feet each – 7th May 2017
  2. Payment of  Rs.36,000/- to Jain Irrigation for obtaining 1500 plants – End of May
  3. Installation of Drip Irrigation system – 14th or 21st May 2017
  4. Closing of the open trenches on 10th June 2017
  5. Digging 1500 pits at a distance of 6 feet between plant and 12 feet between rows
  6. Planting of trees by covering them with Farm yard manure, Neem cake, NPK, Vermi compost, micro nutrients etc.

Lot of work to be done in the next 15 days and trying to manage between work and the farming. Though I am getting good support from my family, co-ordinating with different depts. and bringing those people for inspection in the farm is taking some time.

The employees are slow and take their own time to do the things, where as the time constraint for me is making it difficult to get things done as per the schedule. Neverthless, this is a rewarding work and I am enjoying all the attention and curiosity generated in the vllagers due to the fast pace of the works being accomplished using modern methods.

Digging Borewell in the field

The next step was to dig borewell in the field. I searched the internet for a Geologist who could survey the land and provide the points where water is available. I contacted Dr A Ponnambalam Geologist/ Scientist who stays at Nizampet in Hyderabad.

The field was surveyed on 6th April and he has shown as 2 points where water is available in the field. He was very professional and the equipment he had was of highest standards. He informed that water will start about 250 ft and to dig upto 350 ft.

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The borewell digging was scheduled on 7th April at 9.30am. I reached my village along with my parents by 9.15am. But the borewell drilling has not reached. After calling many times, they came at 4.00pm and the work started at 5.00pm.

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The work was going on smoothly and I was waiting for water from 200 ft onwards. When it reached 240 ft, some water came out. It was more like light rain..

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The water was coming out continuously from 250 ft onwards but the flow was very less. At some point the water flow increased and we were waiting for the water to gush out with force. Some villagers came to the spot and were enquiring about the depth. When told that it was 300ft, they said its waste to go more deep as the water in the area comes out at 200 ft only and said it was a futile exercise going deeper.

We were feeling little depressed and I thought, will my agriculture journey be short lived. It was 320 ft but no sign of more water. I thought of farmers who had drilled 10 to 12 bores in that area and didnt strike water. But I had faith that we will get water as the Geologist had assured that there is water in that point. Also, my father was positive and said let us see till 400 ft. I was also of the same opinion.

Then when the next rod was inserted, it was about 340 ft, water flow increased steadily. We were relived and had smiles on the face. When the last rod was drilled into the land, at 375 ft, water came out with very high pressure that it fell on the people who were stading 20 ft.

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The initial stage is successfully completed.

The next stage is

i. To get the motor fixed. Enquired with Texmo Dealer. It is costing about 1.26 lakhs incl of installing, transport, TATA pipes.

ii. Obtain electricity connection.

iii. small plants in the land need to be removed by bull dozer

iv. Marking of the land into rows with about 12 ft distance.

v. Digging trenches and leave it for some days.

The Farming Plan.. Initial Steps

Once it was decided that, I will venture into agriculture I had to look into various options which suited best for me and for the farm. I had to finalize whether I had to go for vegetable farming, flower farming in green house, fruit plantations, cash crops etc.

For vegetable farming it is necessary that the care is taken every day and it was not possible for me as I lived 120 kms from my village and also there were no reliable persons in my village to whom I could entrust the duty. So this option was deleted.

Flower farming in Green/Poly house is a very good profit making business but it requires huge investment about 15 lakhs per acre (apart from Govt. subsidy of 35 lakhs per acre) and also requires everyday care. So this was also not considered.

After researching on various options, I had zeroed on Ultra High Density Mango Plantation in 2 acres and Guava plantation in 1 acre land since they do not require everyday care and also the investment is less when compared to Green House.

The next steps were to get bore well digged in the land, soil testing, getting drip irrigation facility, Marking and digging pits, fencing the land etc. The following is the tentative plan.

Activity Preson/Organ Date Amount
Bore Points Location Geologist 7th April 15000
Bore Drilling Borewell com 7th/8th April 30000
Fencing Purchase at M’nagar 8th April 25000
Drip Irrigation Assessment Bangaru Irrigations 7th April  
Drip Irrigation DD Payment   7th April 10000
Soil Testing – Collection IoTA Labs 8th April  
Marking Pits   8th April  
Digging Pits   9th April

So the next week is full of agriculture work for 1st time in my life.

Will keep posted the developments with the pictures next week.

Venturing into Farming

Hi All…

I am from village in Mahboobnagar Dist, Telangana and working as Mid Level Manager in State Govt. PSU in Hyderabad. Though I was born in village, I was brought up in Hyderabad since I was 3 years as my father worked in State Govt. So, I rarely visited my village and that too only during summer holidays when my grand mother called me.

After marriage and 2 sons, elder one goes to school,  my outlook towards job has changed. The job profile doesnt excite me at all and the only reason to work is I get 6 figure salary every month. Everyday morning I get up and get ready for my office and in the evening return home, watch TV, play with kids and off to sleep. There is no challenge in life and also these days it keeps striking me everyday that, is this the only purpose of life. The only purpose in life has been to study, get into job, get married, children, their studies etc..

So, after long thoughts and many discussions I finally decided to venture into Agriculture. I have about 3.25 acres of ancestral agriculture land which we had given on lease till now. I have told the lessee that I would be farming it on my own after Ugadi i.e.29th March 2017.

The plan.. Next post.