Harvesting luxury and blueberries

A lawyer who grows blueberries and raspberries in Pune, a farmer who drives Audi and is changing the perception towards agriculture, Kutch's Kalo Dungar where vehicles go uphill in neutral gear and leaf plate millionaires are all part of this newsletter

Rashmi Pratap
New Update
Harvesting luxury and blueberries

Harvesting luxury and blueberries

Dear Reader,

About 60 percent of India’s population depends on farming for livelihood. They feed millions of stomachs but barely have enough for themselves. Not surprisingly, the word farmer conjures up the image of a dhoti-clad tired man toiling in the fields, miles away from technology and urban glitz.

However, today’s young and educated farmers are breaking away from that image, using the latest gadgets, technology and apps to increase the yield, sell at higher rates and earn more. This week, we have featured two people – a lawyer and a hotel management graduate – rolling in money with farming.

My colleague Chandhini spoke to Sujith SP, who was filmed while driving his Audi A4 luxury sedan to the local market to sell spinach last year. The video clip went viral and Sujith is glad it did because he is working to change people’s perception towards farmers and agriculture. Farmers can earn enough to live a luxurious life!

A hotel management graduate, he grows vegetables, flowers and paddy using organic and precision farming in Alleppey, Kerala. He deploys efficient farming techniques to boost production and uses social media for marketing and knowledge-sharing. He shared the secret of his success with Chandhini, who has put it all down in her story. Do read it.

If you are among those who watch their calories and incorporate superfoods in your diet, then you must have eaten blueberries. Rich in fibre, nutrition and antioxidants, blueberries are imported into India as the climate in most parts of the country is not conducive to their cultivation. 

Keya Salot, a corporate lawyer who wanted to be an urban farmer, is now growing blueberries and raspberries in Talegaon, Pune. She quit her job for the love of farming and imports blueberry and raspberry saplings conducive to cultivation in India, she told me. 

Keya uses tunnel farming to create the right conditions for their growth and is expecting 1.35 lakh tonnes of berries this year! She supplies to all of India’s major retailers and hotel chains. As I always say, the combo of education and farming is quite unbeatable!

When Amardeep Bardhan and Vaibhav Jaiswal were pursuing their higher education (MBA), they participated in a business plan contest. Their idea was to make eco-friendly plates from areca palm leaves, and it bagged the first prize in the inter-college competition. 

Before completing their course, the duo began working with some areca palm leaf makers in Tinsukia, Assam. They invested Rs20,000 in getting new dyes and moulds for making trendy leaf plates and started selling them in north India. Today, Prakritii sells leaf plates worth Rs23 crore annually. About 50% of sales come from exports. They are expecting Rs25 crore in revenues in FY25.

My colleague Riya has written a piece on five ways you can buy genuine organic seeds in India. Don’t miss it if you love gardening or farming.

Our Sunday story is on Kalo Dungar, Gujarat’s magnetic hill where vehicles go up the slope!

And in the Money section, my colleague Karan has written a piece to help you choose between buying and renting a house. So if you are the one sitting on the fence, this article will help you choose the right course of action.

Happy Reading! 




Kerala's ‘farmer with an Audi’ shares the secret of his success


Lawyer quits job to grow raspberry and blueberry in Pune; gets bumper harvest


Two friends, Rs 20,000 investment and Rs 23 crore leaf plate business


Five ways to buy genuine organic seeds in India