‘I Retired, And Earned Rs 35 Lakh/12 months Due to my Modern Fruit & Cacao Farm’

For Thankachan Chempotty, farming has been part of his life since he was a younger boy. Hailing from Thekkumkutty in Kozhikode, Kerala, he nurtured his love for agriculture even whereas he was working for a number of companies for many years.

“I grew up in an agricultural household, and are available from a era that used to stroll to varsities for kilometres day-after-day, and work on the fields after college hours,” he recollects in dialog with The Higher India. “I had a tricky life rising up and I believe farming has actually helped me all through, giving me the stamina and imaginative and prescient to maneuver forward in life.”

Thankachan, who juggles natural farming whereas working as a marketing consultant for a number of FMCG corporations, owns a flourishing natural farm on 22 acres of land in Nanjangud.

Named Chempotty Property, the farm is his favorite place, the 58-year-old says, including that his spouse, Jessie is as concerned within the farming as he’s. “We develop coconut, arecanut, nutmeg, cacao, and several other different fruit bushes. I’ve round 17,000 bushes and vegetation on my property,” he says.

“We additionally make a number of value-added merchandise out of the natural produce, with an intention to cut back wastage and enhance the market worth of the produce,” he provides.

At the moment, he makes a complete income of about Rs 35 lakh a 12 months from his natural farm.

Turning a chemical laden land into natural farm

Thankachan Chempotty together with his spouse, Jessie on the farm

When Thankachan determined to do natural farming in 2005, he was assured he might remodel the 22 acres of land from a chemical-laden farm to an natural one. “Earlier than us, the land was used for cultivating crops like vanilla, coconut, chikku and so forth, the place they used a number of chemical compounds and pesticides. However I used to be certain that I might remodel it into an natural farm if I put in sufficient effort and endurance,” he explains.

It took him round 4 to 5 years to attain his aim. “I used Subhash Palekar’s pure farming methodology of utilizing jeevamrut, a concoction made out of cow urine, dung, and different pure elements. This helped rather a lot in bettering the soil high quality. I additionally planted round 450 moringa bushes and round 500 neem bushes, which in flip helped in rising the fertility,” he explains.

When the land was prepared, Thankachan determined to develop completely different money crops, adopting a 4 layer methodology. “I’ve coconut bushes on the primary layer, the second layer is for the arecanut bushes, and the third layer for cacao and different fruit bushes like guava, mangoes and so forth. On the fourth layer, we’ve planted ginger, turmeric, tapioca, candy potatoes and so forth,” he says.

“At the moment, we’ve round a thousand coconut bushes which might be over 30 years outdated, round 4,000 areca-nut bushes which might be round six years outdated, and three,500 cacao vegetation which might be round 8 years outdated.”

Aside from that, the farm additionally grows fruit bushes like cherries, ardour fruit, jackfruit, soursop and far more.

A love affair with cacaoCacao

In keeping with Thankachan, whereas arecanut and coconut each pay effectively, it’s his cacao vegetation that he finds most fascinating. “It’s a crop that you could leverage much more,” he opines.


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“Often folks promote uncooked cacao seeds for Rs 45-60 per kg. But when you are able to do the fermentation processing, the harvest is round 4 to 5 instances extra worthwhile than promoting them as seeds,” he says, emphasising that he all the time sells cacao in its fermented or dried type.

The natural produce from the Chempotty Property is commonly made into several-value added merchandise, thereby leveraging extra income and decreasing wastage. Thankachan says, “The inventive thoughts behind it’s my spouse Jessie.”

Jessie, who was working as a trainer for over three a long time, give up her full-time job in 2020 to focus extra on their farm. “I by no means appreciated losing something that grows on our farm. So, I attempt my greatest to give you concepts to make value-added merchandise out of the whole lot,” she says.

Products from Chempotty Estate
Merchandise from Chempotty Property

She additionally notes that usually, solely cacao beans are used, and the residue of the fruit is wasted as run-off. “I wished to do one thing by utilizing the juice moderately than losing it. It was tasty, however had a really quick shelf life. I experimented with it and made a cacao syrup, or a dip. It’s candy, with barely sourish notes. The inexperienced chilli powder and salt make it a spicy dip. You possibly can have it as is, drizzle it over bread, chapati, puri, and desserts, add it as a style enhancer in smoothies and shakes, or use as a seasoning on salads,” says the 56-year-old, including that it goes with all of the veg and non-veg cuisines.

Jessie additionally discovered success in making a number of different merchandise out of cacao like wine, vinegar and even laddus.

Cacao dip
Cacao dip

“By way of value-added merchandise, we’ve been capable of attain a bigger buyer base and it has been very worthwhile. From cacao, we make a income of round Rs 10 lakh per 12 months,” provides Thankachan.

“We additionally make use of different fruits to make juices, wines, jams, marmalades, pickles, chutneys and so forth,” says Jessie, including that the wines have been the quickest promoting amongst all of the merchandise.

Amitha D’costa, an everyday buyer of Chempotty Property says, “We used to purchase fruit and veggies from the market earlier than, however as soon as we began shopping for it from them, we might make out the distinction. They’re so recent and natural, and so they style actually good. I’ve been shopping for from them each week. I’ve additionally purchased the cacao laddus and the beans from them, they have been too good.”

All merchandise are offered by way of their web site, in addition to Farmizen, a web-based platform for natural merchandise, immediately sourced from native farmers. Moreover, you may also purchase their merchandise immediately from their farm.

(Edited by Divya Sethu)

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