This engineer left a job with a seven-figure salary in Australia to take up farming in Tamil Nadu
He is not your typical farmer. Unlike his fellow farmers in Tamil Nadu's Coimbatore region, he is always in jeans and t-shirt, speaks impeccable English and is technology friendly -- he can switch on and switch off his irrigation pump with just a missed call.
Meet Suresh Babu, a software engineer who gave up a well-paying job in Australia along with citizenship of that country to be a farmer back home.
Suresh, who comes from a family of farmers, graduated in engineering from Coimbatore Institute of Technology and went to Australia where he completed his Master's. He was working in Australia as a software engineer earning a seven-figure salary. He, however, felt that his life in Australia was neither making him happy nor giving him any satisfaction, and decided to return home.
His decision to be a farmer back home had its share of challenges too. To begin with, Suresh's family was against the idea of quitting a high-paying job to take up something with no foreseeable future, and he had a hard time convincing them to support him. When it came farming, he had to spend Rs 15 lakh to make his land cultivable as it had been lying barren for more than a decade. And then, he had to come to terms with the fact that there was no electricity.
But nothing could stop him from getting into the field literally and do what he knew he would find happiness in. He started by plating 5,000 areca nut and coconut trees. In the four years since then, he has gained the trust and support of not just his family but others too. From not knowing the basics of farming, he has come to a stage where everyone approaches him with their doubts and queries.
After waiting patiently for a long time for electricity, Suresh now uses solar energy for the fence and irrigation. For someone who believes in the adage "Do it today and do it well", he is perturbed that he is not able to use organic fertilisers as much as he would like because the land had not been cultivated for a decade. He eagerly looks forward to the day when he can proudly say he uses 100 percent organic fertilizers. Suresh also wants to bring under cultivation another 10 acres of his land that has been lying fallow for years.
For his love for farming and innovative approach to agriculture, a sector that most people are giving up on, he has been felicitated with Young Achiever and Young Progressive Farmer awards.
Read this in Tamil.