A farmer's guiding angel



 

August 2017

By Jamuna Rangachari

Inspired by his grandfather’s vision of resuscitating his farm, Sachin Kale left his high-paying corporate job, to help the farmers reap the benefits of contract farming and new technologies, says Jamuna Rangachari

We either ignore or make fun of the advice given to us by our seniors, especially grandparents. We feel  that they know nothing about the modern era and the aspirations of the younger generation. Some like Sachin Kale, however, not only listen to them but also make it their life purpose to walk on the path shown by them. And the result is beyond describable.

He says, “My late grandfather is my greatest inspiration, He would often tell me how one could survive without money but not food, and if one knew the art of growing one’s own food, one could survive in any condition.” He would take Sachin to their 25-acre ancestral land and talk about his dream of turning it into a  fertile farm someday.

Sachin's grandfather also taught him the important lesson of ensuring that the labourers earned more than their previous wages to avoid the loss of manpower. 

Degrees galore

In the meantime, Sachin completed his mechanical engineering from REC, Nagpur (now called VRCE) in 2000. This was followed by an MBA in finance and a degree in law. He started his career by working for a power plant and rapidly rose to the top in a few years.  In 2007, he started his PhD in developmental economics. As he delved deeply into the subject he began to think about the path he had chosen. Thoughts like why he was working for someone else and not fulfilling his grandfather’s dream  began to haunt his mind.

Baby steps in agriculture

Sachin started thinking about helping the farmers in making farming a financially profitable venture, but he realised that for that to happen, he would have to first learn farming and set an example by drawing profits.

In 2013, he left his luxurious life in Gurgaon, where he worked as a manager for Punj Lloyd, drawing a hefty salary of 24 lakh per annum, and shifted to Medhpar, Chattisgarh, to become a farmer.

Talking about challenges, he says, “Everything was a challenge, since I was totally clueless about farming. I had to learn everything from tilling the land to sowing the seeds.”

Sachin invested his entire provident fund of 15 years in h
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