With novel idea and consistent effort, Kottayam Marangattupilly native Robin P. Joy has proven that agriculture gives 10 times more profit when it is turned into agri-business. He started farming as a livelihood in 2005 and has now expanded the cultivation into 5-acre plot including the vegetable farming in rain shelter.
Robin’s method of agriculture utilizes maximum space available in the farm. He grows okra and cucumber in a single flowerbed. He uses the same support system for both snake gourd and long beans. Bush beans is grown in the flowerbed of plantains and cauliflower in the bed of vine beans.
Robin follows organic farming methods and uses urea, potash, Rajphos only as additional fertilizers. Since he maintains cattle farm and poultry farm as well, there is no scarcity for bio manure.
Also groundnut cake, neem cake and cow dung germinated solution, worm compost, fish amino and egg amino are used in the farm. Robin depends on fly traps and microbial pesticides for pest control.
Robin sells about 30-50 tons of agri-products every year through Vegetable and Fruit Promotion Council Kerala (VFPCK), Prathibha eco shop at Marangattupilly and Agricultural bank in Anikkadu. He has also received the award of VFPCK for selling highest quantity of products many times.
Production of vegetable plant saplings is another source of income for Robin. He produces about 3 lakh quality saplings and seeds a year and sells them through Krishi Bhavan, eco shops and society.
Robin has also designed frames that can carry up to 12,000 saplings at a time in a vehicle. He also designs frames for terrace farming and rain shelters and provide them to those who need them.
Robin makes value added products like banana chips, dry banana, jackfruit chips, dry jackfruit, dry bitter gourd and ivy gourd and arrowroot powder.
This 39-year-old ITI graduate has a key role in driving the youngsters in the area into farming. Robin earns nearly Rs 16 lakh per year by taking up agriculture as a business.