Gudivada, Andhra Pradesh
31 acres growing paddy from July to November, and pulses from December to March. Also has 80 acres of fish ponds and a small dairy herd with 20 head of cattle.
Subba Rao farms with his wife Rajeswaramma, his mother Seshagiramma and several farm staff on their 110 acre mixed farm in Gudivada. Subba’s late father, Venkateswara, first started farming the land 50 years ago.
Mixing traditional and new knowledge is key to the family’s enterprise: Subba’s father taught him the importance of using green and organic manures, while Subba makes use of the latest crop and market information to help make planting decisions.
Farming for the future
Subba and his staff retain information on all aspects of the farm to help them make decisions about how to manage the business and ensure it is in a strong position when his son, Venkateswara, takes over in the future.
“We maintain information on everything, from costs of cultivation to income, to help us understand how different varieties and new technologies are having an impact,” he says.
“Thanks to the changes we have made, our cultivation costs for pulses are Rs 20000/acre while the income is Rs.30000/acre”
Profitability remains a key challenge for the family’s business, with the move towards mechanisation, volatile commodity prices and climate change all playing their part too.
“These are challenges we are having to learn to work with, but we are open to change,” says Subbo. “Recently I purchased a new car, and I also bought a hybrid cow which should help improve our productivity.”