In his mind’s eye, Philip Chacko of Alappuzha, Kerala, has always been a successful farmer. He was prepared for farming even while pursuing his MBA and spending two years working in the corporate sector.
His parents had some cattle and a small plot of land; Philip’s forefathers were farmers. However, their parents weren’t encouraging when he expressed interest in entering the agricultural industry. “Everyone pictured me earning a nice salary and working comfortably in an office setting. But despite their disapproval, I continued with my enthusiasm,” the 33-year-old claims.
Philip left his well-paying career and spent three years working for a plantation in Kottayam to prepare himself for the field. From this, he learned more about farming. In order to begin growing vegetables, he finally leased about 30 acres of property in Alappuzha in 2019.
The young farmer works 34 acres of land scattered throughout Palakkad, including Lakkidi and Malampuzha. He has expanded his business to Ooty to farm additional seasonal vegetables.
“My initial concept was large-scale farming, sometimes known as a vegetable estate. I intended to develop a brand under which to market the product. That is how the song “Pure Harvest” came to be. Every type of vegetable, including gourds, tubers, and even seasonal vegetables, is farmed in the fields and distributed throughout the state by wholesalers and retailers, according to the man.
Farmers from each community collaborate with him to raise the crops; he pays them Re 1 more than the going rate. “I supply the tools and machinery that farmers require. He claims that farmers typically approach me voluntarily since the pricing is greater here.
After starting the farm, Philip received a 56-ton harvest in just five months. The amount has now grown to 390 tonnes. He boasts, “Last year, I made a profit of Rs 36 lakh just from farming.” Earlier in 2021, Philip’s farm was also visited by Kerala’s then-agriculture minister, V S Sunil Kumar.
Philip sells his harvests to small stores and marketplaces, unlike other commercial farmers who prefer to sell their food to supermarket chains to build their brand. “I want people to appreciate the high caliber of my crops. The only veggies that stores seek are those that are ripe and colorful. They are never concerned with quality. The price they offer is also lower as a result, the agripreneur explains.
Some of the crops grown on his farm are okra, long beans, pumpkin, bitter gourd, ridge gourd, cucumber, spinach, green gramme, sesame, black gramme, onion, potato, and shallot. You may also find several fruits on the farms like papaya, muskmelon, and watermelon. And they are all raised using organic methods.
Philip’s entire family is now behind him. He claims his primary inspirations are his parents, K J Philip and Theklamma, and his wife, Anmary Antony.
Philip also advises farmers who want to establish commercial farming outside of farming. “There are numerous myths surrounding fertilizing, seeding, and all other agricultural processes. I work to assist other farmers so they may increase their harvests and sell to more people, he says.
Within a few years, the devoted farmer aims to have his brand of high-quality fruits and vegetables available throughout Kerala under the name. “Everyone believes that agriculture is only for people with little education. This needs to change, and more young people should enter the farming industry. It is one of the most lucrative enterprises when done properly. I’ve also implemented some business strategies into farming as an MBA,” he claims.
“My main desire is to expand my farming operations to 100 acres,” he continues.
To avoid using intermediaries, I’m also working with a delivery service to transport the product straight to customers. The cost of veggies could significantly decrease as a result.