In the picturesque Solan district, a revolution in agricultural innovation has emerged, led by a former IT professional. Mandeep Verma, a 38-year-old former tech worker, has become the talk of the town for his agricultural prowess, turning a barren piece of land into a thriving farm that now yields an impressive annual income of 4 million rupees.
Returning to Roots
After an extensive stint of 4 and a half years in the IT sector, Mandeep grew increasingly restless. The monotony and the unfulfilling trajectory of his career had him yearning for something more substantial. “I was not at all satisfied with my job and my career growth was also not going as expected,” Mandeep confesses.
Most of us have been programmed to think that the culmination of education is a traditional job. But the call of his hometown in Solan district was too hard to ignore. Mandeep shares, “I was always told that completing my education meant landing a traditional job, but during this time of introspection, I decided to utilize my academic skills differently.”
From Tech to Agriculture
The leap from technology to agriculture might seem vast and incongruous, but for Mandeep, it felt right. His pivotal moment was a discussion with his wife about leaving his established career to delve into farming. To his relief and surprise, she supported him wholeheartedly. “We had an ancestral land of 4.84 acres in the village. It felt like destiny calling,” Mandeep reminisces.
However, the challenges were abundant. His professional background was in marketing, and his knowledge of farming was practically nil. The land in question had also never felt the touch of a plow. “The land was barren, with nothing but wild grass. The soil’s fertility was a mystery,” says Mandeep.
Embracing Digital Farming
In the age of information, Mandeep turned to the internet, scouring hundreds of videos to educate himself on organic and natural farming methods. “It was a steep learning curve. It took me about 5 months to grasp the nuances,” he admits.
During this research, he learned of a unique challenge that neighboring farmers faced – the menace of monkeys damaging crops. This discovery would play a crucial role in shaping his farming decisions.
An Exotic Pathway
Determined to address these challenges, Mandeep sought the expertise of professors from the Himachal Pradesh Agricultural University and experienced farmers from nearby regions. Through these interactions, he realized the potential of fruit cultivation, specifically the Kiwi.
Mandeep highlights a unique characteristic of the Kiwi fruit, “In its early stages, Kiwi is quite sour. This sourness deters monkeys, adding a natural protection to the crop.” Additionally, its exotic nature made it a lucrative choice for the market.
Today, Mandeep Verma stands as a beacon of hope and inspiration. His journey from the IT cubicle to lush green fields is a testament to the possibilities that arise when passion meets purpose. His tale is not just about financial success but about finding contentment, reinvention, and, most importantly, returning to one’s roots.