I have been thinking about farming as an alternative profession . I somehow believe strongly that with the rapid urbanisation, large scale movement of population towards non-agricultural activities, there is going to be acute shortage of people to do agriculture.
Agriculture in present form may not be commercially viable. That is, with very small landholdings and lack of automation, it is turning out to be very cost ineffective. But if we are able to take advantage of modern techniques it can turn beneficial.
I am also very thrilled whenever I read something about organic farming. There are couple of agricultural experts like Nammalwar and Swaminathan (not MS Swaminathan) who are propogating organic farming in a big way with the farmers. They organise symposiums in rural areas where they take the farmers through various organic farming techniques and also educate them about the ill-effects of fertilizers, pesticides, insecticides etc., I think this is a great service to the humanity.
I was speaking to my colleague yesterday, who comes from Coimbatore district and his father is into agriculture full-time. He was telling me that the prices the farmer is getting for the produce is one of the most attractive ones and his father hasn't seen these prices in his lifetime. That goes to reinforce my belief that agriculture is still viable.
I have heard recently that many industrialists in Chennai have started doing agriculture in a big way. I have read Ananda Vikatan's Owner Mr Balasubramanian owns a big farm near Chennai. Many top corporate honchos have their own farms.. no need to talk about Doctors.. I also know of a person near my house who has bought some 50 acres of land down south Tamilnadu and doing agriculture in a big way.
I think over the next couple of decades, there is going to reverse migration from cities to rural areas to take up lucrative agriculture...