Useful Info

This page would contain useful information about various aspects of cultivation including including farm mechanization, precision farming and anything else I deem useful to know..

Equipment Cost

First phase of this project was land cleaning. In this step, we used various machines including JCB (to uproot big bushes and rocks), Tractor Tipper (to transport the debris)  and Disc Plough (to loosen the soil and enable solarization). Rates for these machines can differ from place to place but typically Rs 550/hr for JCB, Rs 1300/day for tipper and Rs 450/hr for disc plough is considered reasonable.

Agricultural Marketing Information Network - AGMARKNET

As a step towards globalisation of agriculture, the Directorate of Marketing & Inspection (OMI) has embarked upon an ICT project: NICNET based Agricultural Marketing Information System Network (AGMARKNET)". Produce Market Committees), State Agricultural marketing Boards / Directorates and OMI regional offices located throughout the country, for effective information exchange on
market prices NIC implements this project on a turn-key basis. This AGMARKNET project has already networked 735 Agricultural Produces Wholesale Markets (APWMs), 75 State Agricultural Marketing Boards/Directorates and DMI Regional Offices.

Advantages :
The advantages of AGMARKNET database accrue to the farmers, as they have choices to sell their produce in the nearest market at remunerative prices. In addition to this, the Country witnesses:
  • Nationwidemarket information for wholesale produce
  • Project supported by various Departments and State Boards of Agricultural Marketing
  • Access mainly through the Internet
  • Information dissemination progressively through local languages
  • Computer facilities atthe markets
  • Software for download - Daily market prices
  • Information collected by nodes in the various markets
  • Weekly trends
  • Information on loans, policies and regulations
  • Bypass middlemen

Melia Dubia - Basic Facts
This is one of our timber crops and avenue tree at the Sivaganga plantation. Here are a few intestesting facts :

Melia Dubia, well known as Persian lilac, is native to India but is now grown in all the warmer parts of the world; in many of these places it is naturalized. It is widely planted in Nigeria, . This is a deciduous tree up to 45 m tall; bole fluted below when old, up to 30-60 (max. 120) cm in diameter, with a spreading crown and sparsely branched limbs. Bark smooth, greenish-brown when young, turning grey and fissured with age. It flowers from March to May in the northern hemisphere, although some forms flower throughout the summer and even throughout the year.

Uses : 
  • Fodder : Leaves are lopped for fodder and are highly nutritious. 
  • Fuel: Fuelwood is a major use of Melia Dubia. It has a calorific value is 5100 kcal/kg. 
  • Timber: Wood, which resembles mahogany, is used to manufacture agricultural implements, furniture, plywood, boxes, poles, tool handles; it is used in cabinet making and in construction because of its resistance to termites. The density is 510-660 kg/cubic m.   
  • Shade or shelter: Widely planted as a shade tree in coffee plantations. 
  • Ornamental: A well-known ornamental grown, for example, as an avenue tree, for its scented flowers and shady, spreading crown. 

Medicinal Herbs
Some of our current readings are listed below. Hope you enjoy them too..
  • Journal of Herbs, Spices & Medicinal Plants (ISSN: 1540-3580 (electronic) 1049-6475 (paper) )
Trade journal. Latest information with an academic (not commercial) approach. Articles on cultivation, pest control and produce processing can be very informative. Is not free but you can access some free material of the electronic version.
Good reference book if you are planning to cultivate medicinal herbs. Lots of practical information on uses, pictures and some information on climate, soil preferences of the crop.
Good reference on Aloe Vera types, cultivation, processing. Limited marketing details.
Interesting read, good to browse and use it as a second source of information. More focused on Homeopathy, etc.

Conversion of area and length metrics
1 hectare = 2.47 acres
1 hectare = 100m x 100m = 10,000 sq meters
1 acre = 4000 sq meters = 43,560 sq feet
1 meter = 100 cm = 3.28 feet
1 ft = 30 cm = 12 inches

Fruit Crop Research : Papaya 
Periodically, I'll try to publish information from my research log. Part of a successful agri enterprise is to keep learning and looking for new opportunities. Here are some useful links on Papaya cultivation. We may consider Papaya cultivation in future.

High level metrics** : 
  • Avg cost per acre : INR 25k - 40k (initial)
  • Avg cost per acre : INR 10-12k (subsequent years)
  • Avg gestation for first crop : 7-9 months 
  • Productive yield period : 3 years per tree
  • Avg yeild per acre : 50 tonnes
  • Avg mandi price per quintal : INR 900
  • Avg retail price per kg : INR 35-50
Additional revenue streams : Seeds for medicinal use, Raw fruit used in food industry, Tree latex
**Data was collected via online sources and may be outdated based on source. 

Concise technical source of Papaya cultivation process and requirements :

Monsanto has developed GM (Genetically modified for pest resistance) Papaya seeds and TNAU is the only Indian organization to collaborate with them for field trials and commercial feasibility.


GM Papaya crop in Hawaii : Resistant to virus



  1. This site has a nice collection of 'green' blogs.

  2. Really Usefull and i spent a hour in this site keep updating the site
    Myself vmgbrothers and techie2aggie of same interest
    jai hind

  3. Thanks for your comment. Do let me know if you have a blog that I can follow.
    Lots more updates in coming days..

  4. Would anyone be interested in learning the process for applying for govt. subsidies for Horticulture crops? If there is enough interest, we can compile the steps, methods and procedures in the coming weeks.

    1. Hi,
      Would like to know if tthere hasbeen any work done around this idea.

    2. What exactly would you like to know?

  5. Nice blog. Pleasant presentation. Keep it up.

    Raghu Ram
    Sampada Farms

  6. Did u work on water harvesting i.e having our own water ponds at low levels in our land, hedge plantation to prevent soil erosion and improving our water absorption capacity of our farm with something like vetiver etc.

  7. We have constructed some recharge pits across the farm. This year we plan on constructing some bunds to capture rain water.

  8. It looks like you de weed/till land. Why dont you try grow green bio mass and try to mulch with green weedbed.

    Thus you can keep wetness in the soil and improve fertility.

    Just an idea.

  9. We till the land so that water can percolate inside rather than flowing away. Deweeding of Daincha is done after flowering since it tends to multiply really fast and becomes invasive. Agree with your point - efforts are made to mulch under the plant as much as possible to keep the soil moist.

  10. Dear Techie
    the info on papaya seems incorrect for yield. in one place (nhb website) yield says 75-100 ttons per hectare, ie 30-40 tons per acre. Other internet rsearch also says about 30 tones per acre. even tnau site says some 200-250 tons/hectare.
    So how did you get 5 tonnes per acre? Is it a typo? Is it personal experience? Pls clarify

    1. Vernon,
      Sorry to have missed your post. Yes, it is a typo. It is 50 tons! Thanks for pointing this out..

  11. congratulations for your systematic progress; are you getting assistance from any professional agriculturist; god bless you; warm regards.

  12. This is very useful information. Thank you for sharing information.

    I believe Monsanto and genetically modified stuff is not good for India as it creates dependency on other countries and increases imports from them. I am also apprehensive about genetically modified stuff as it is not natural, it may be the reason for many un explainable diseases. I would rather go with native desi seeds.

  13. very useful information you are sharing through this blog. thanks

  14. Wonderful initiative, great effort and encouraging spirit! Hats off to you! Keep up the good work! May your tribe increase! All good wishes for every endeavor of yours!

    1. Thanks Varghese - hope you find our postings useful. We also look forward to hearing from fellow agri-preneurs..

  15. Hi ..First of all very nice site..really liked inlaws are looking for information about malabar neem (Melia Dubia ) as they never tried it.Can you let us know your number so that we can call you?let us know best time also for email

  16. Great Work!

    Passion Greens

  17. great work, keep it up...
    Balaji Bondar

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  19. Hi Techie2Aggie, We have a 1 acre farm and wanted to plant UHD Mango plantation. where can i get all information related to planting, buying mango saplings and all technical information related to UHD Mango plantation ?

  20. what is the minimal capital requirement for cultivating malabar neem? can you please mention that? malabar neem is this information valuable? how accurate is this?

  21. Disc Plough used for deep ploughing in root-infested, sticky, stony, and hard soils. Mixes remains of crops and weeds throughout the extremity of disc plough, so it is ideal for rain-fed areas for checking soil erosion by water and wind. Spring loaded at a loose cancel rear furrow wheel govern the side draft to ensure straight operate and ease of handling by smaller tractor. Other features complement Re-greasable Taper Roller Bearing in disc hubs, Disc angle malleable to improve the insight behind changing soil conditions, Cat I and II grip and the Disc Scrapers are along with variable to ensure that the Discs remain tidy in every one conditions.