Lush greenery surrounds the farmland spread across 10 acres in nondescript Anandi village of Ranchi’s Ormanjhi block as Rajiv Kamal Bittu bends down to inspect the rows of tomato and brinjal plants.
A chartered accountant (CA) by profession and a farming entrepreneur by passion, Bittu likes to spend more time in the fields than sitting within the four walls of his office. His penchant for farming is now taking him to places, establishing him as one of the pioneers of farming entrepreneurship in the state.
Employing more than 60 unemployed locals, the start-up has become a model for aspiring entrepreneurs who visit him regularly to emulate his success story. He is a visiting faculty for various agricultural institutes.
The 36-year-old began his entrepreneurial journey in 2014 when he decided to take up full-fledged farming. For this, he took 10 acres on lease from the locals.
“Previously, all the land of the adjoining area was barren before I picked the plough to till. Locals, though impoverished and largely unemployed, did not take to farming for a living for reasons better known to them. This has slowly changed now as more people are finding farming lucrative,” said Bittu.
One of the major reasons for him to take up an unconventional entrepreneurship path was to abolish the stereotype surrounding farming. Further, to learn about the tricks of the trade in-depth, Bittu began visiting farms and studying different kinds of farming techniques carried out by farmers in the villages of his hometown, Bihar.
“Farming is something which is looked down upon by a majority of people and it is considered a profession of the underprivileged. I want to show that it involves a scientific and modern side too,” said the entrepreneur who now earns an annual profit of more than `50 lakh.
However, his family members were not entirely supportive of his initiative. He said his family thought that he had a respectable job and position as a CA and need not try his hand at farming.
He works with a team of locals and takes advice from agricultural experts. Companies come to his farm on an ‘exposure visit’ to learn the basics of agricultural training.
Rajiv plans to shift entirely to organic farming and open an exclusive shop for sale of his organic produce in Ranchi.
“We are also in the process of acquiring vans which will deliver fruits and vegetables to nearby residential complexes,” he said.