07 December 2019

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Green Fortunes In Your Land

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Are you a land owner, and planning to invest in real estate? If so you can covert your piece of land to a golden land! But how? The answer is, instead of keeping your land idle you can convert it into a good farm and reap high returns with a less investment.

Gardening, or what you call it technically- horticulture, is the most easiest and simplest home based business. Horticulture stands as a broad segment for growing fruits, vegetables, herbal plants etc.

G Raghava Reddy a retired IPS officer in Andhra Pradesh who was involved in cultivation and propagation of medicinal plants says, “this is the easiest way to reap sweet success in a short period and with a lower risk rate compared to other businesses”. He started RK Farms in 1997 on a trial, with Japanese mint (menthol) on half-an-acre.

The result was astounding. He was able to reap five harvests in a year against the two harvests possible in the traditional menthol-growing tracts of North India. There was no looking back after that. Mr.Reddy has grown a variety of medicinal and aromatic plants in his farm. “It is a good trading opportunity and if one tries his hand in exports its awesomely rewarding, says Mr.Reddy.

Mr.Devasia and Mrs.Moly Devasia, the septuagenarians living in Kochi is fond of growing orchids. They grow phalaenopsis orchids, since 10 years without leaving an inch of their small compound and even the terrace. Almost every inch of terrace, on three levels, are taken up by plants. “Initially we started it as a hobby. But it has naturally grown as a home business when people started buying flowers and plants. We grow more than 20 varieties of phalaenopsis orchids.

“Maintenance is rigorous, but the effort is definitely worthwhile. One can start the business even as low investment of Rs.100” says the couple who draws an average yearly income of 1.8 lakhs from their garden.

Mr.Mathew and Daisy Mathew living in the suburbs of Trivandrum turned their 10 cents of land into a beautiful garden of heliconia and euphorbia flowers. Now they are earning an averge of 2.5 lakhs a year. Mrs.Mathew with her creative mind learned flower arragngement and participated in several flower shows, which brought them orders from hotels, offices, churches and event management companies. Plants in their garden ranges fromRs10 to Rs.1500/-.

The Vegetable & Fruit Promotion Council, Kerala (VFPCK), runs a project called Harithanagari through out Kerala to promote the green movement and organic farming. “With no space but a terrace, even the cityfolks can think about it” says Rose Mary, Deputy Manager VFPCK.

“The terrace gardens do well because the plants get direct sunlight and when it rains they will not decay, as the terrace will never get soggy. For a sum of Rs. 3,750, we supply 30 average sized pots planted with various vegetable seedlings and also give you technical guidance to maintain the garden on your terrace,” she continues.

Most of the common vegetable seedlings are available in VFPCK. The success of ideas of Haritha Nagari in Kerala, is an example how the urban population tries to reach for a slice of nature. Today more than 400 urbanites are their customers. Banks are offering attractive financial assistance for horticulturists. Individuals and group of farmers can apply for the loan. The loan amount ranges from Rs.20000 to 50 lakhs.

Indian Overseas Bank has recently introduced a scheme for the urbanites to start horticulture inside the compound and on the terrace on easy terms. Individuals who possess an independent house having with at least 500 sq ft of open space or similar area of open unencumbered roof space are eligible for the loan. Privately owned schools, offices, guest houses, hospitals and hotels having at least 1,000 square feet of open space for gardening are eligible. The maximum loan amount is Rs.10,000 for every 1,000 square feet of space.
If you are planning a terrace garden, the ideal time to plan is before the construction of the house, because the strength of the roof to hold the weight of the soil and plants is important,” advises Mr.Santhosh a Kerala based architect.

If you are buying a new apartment and is keen to have your own private garden, it is best to discuss your plan with the builder in the initial stage itself. Remember that foolproof waterproofing and clearance from the builder with regard to the load bearing factor of the proposed garden space is a pre-requisite.

Green Fortunes In Your Land

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