Sandalwood farm and tribal strawberries

A computer engineer growing sandalwood, a school dropout who found success through a directory in a garbage bin, tribal women earning lakhs from strawberry farming, and a paradise on the Tamil Nadu-Karnataka border are all part of this newsletter

Rashmi Pratap
New Update
Sandalwood farm and tribal strawberries

Sandalwood farm and tribal strawberries

Dear Reader,

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade! It’s an old proverb that will always remain relevant. I have made lemonade a couple of times – overcoming adversities to move ahead. And whenever any of us does that, we create a story worth narrating to others. At 30Stades, we strive to bring forth stories of people who did not give up despite challenges and made lemonade!

One such person I spoke to last week is Kavita Mishra, a computer engineer, who got married before she completed her studies. Her in-laws did not allow her to take up a job offer from Infosys. But her supportive husband encouraged her to do something on their 8 acres of barren land.

Despite initial difficulties and a lack of groundwater, she has turned that land into an oasis. She has 2500 sandalwood trees on the farm in Raichur, Karnataka. When harvested for wood in 2027, they will bring her over Rs 20 crore in revenues. 

Besides, Kavita also grows mangoes, custard apples, pomegranates, lemons and other plants and has cattle and poultry on the farm that generate Rs4 lakh every month. Do read her story of success and hard work. It is inspiring indeed!

My colleague Riya wrote an interesting piece on Nitesh Agarwal, whose life changed when he saw an old exporters’ directory in a garbage bin near his house. The directory landed him his first order to supply 1,000 sarees with Lucknowi Chikankari embroidery to a buyer in Mumbai. 

Today, he exports handcrafted Chikankari garments to 40 countries. The rest of the details are in Riya’s story, which will brighten your day.

Niroj, my colleague from Odisha, wrote about tribal women farmers growing strawberries in the extremely backward district of Kandhamal. And guess how much they are earning? Rs 20 lakh per acre!

The state government’s agencies procured the strawberry saplings from Mahabaleshwar, Maharashtra, and trained the women. The tribal women formed groups for collective farming and their strawberries are now bought by India’s top retailers at over Rs350 per kg. Their success goes on to show the power of collective action.

My colleague Anu has put together a piece on five ways to cut irrigation costs. So if farming interests you, this one is for you.

Our Sunday feature is on the beautiful Hogenakkal Falls, where water, rocks and bamboo boats create a surreal picture. 

In the Money section, my colleague Karan has written about five ways to generate regular income after retirement. Since most of us do not have the privilege of pension in the twilight years, we must plan. His article will help you do that.

Happy reading!





How this engineer turned barren land into organic sandalwood and fruit farm


How this school dropout from Lucknow took Chikankari art across the world


Tribal women pioneer strawberry farming in Odisha; earn a profit of Rs 15 lakh per acre


Five ways to cut irrigation costs in farming