An engineer turns floriculturist

An engineer turns floriculturist

M A Khadir Umar, an M Tech graduate, has tried his hands successfully in floriculture. A native of Kusanur village, located on the outskirts of Kalaburagi, Khadir quit his lucrative job in the software industry with an objective to create jobs for rural people. He decided to cultivate gerbera in one acre land of his ancestral property. Since the land was barren, he had to spend a lot on soil preparation initially.

Later, he set up a polyhouse at a cost of Rs 42 lakh. The State government gave 50% subsidy under the Krishi Bhagya scheme. In 2016, he started gerbera cultivation in the polyhouse. Around 25,000 plants of seven different colours are grown here. He drilled five borewells for irrigation purpose and all are yielding water. He uses water from two borewells. He stores water in a farm pond of 60,000 litres capacity and waters the plants through drip irrigation.

The first harvest was done eight months ago and since then, the plants have been yielding regularly. Around 4,000 flowers are harvested every day. Khadir has built a well-equipped packhouse to store, grade and pack the flowers. The cut flowers are sold at local markets and even sent to places as far as Hyderabad and Pune. Generally, one flower is sold at Rs 4, while during festival seasons the price increases to Rs 10 per flower. As many as 20 people are employed here for polyhouse maintenance, irrigation, flower harvesting and storage, and packing and distribution. Khadir is happy with the progress made so far, but is aware that the journey has just begun.

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