As a software engineer for one-and-half decades, M. Shankar Kotian worked in India and abroad. Now he is a farmer near Moodbidri.
Mr. Kotian, an alumnus of the National Institute of Technology – Karnataka, (NIT-K), Surathkal, graduated in B Tech. in computer science in 1996 and worked with Infosys for 15 years before taking up farming about two-and-half years ago at Moodu Konaje, near Moodbidri.
Mr. Kotian’s family did not have any inherited farm land and his parents were not farmers. Hence the venture into farming, both dairy farming and cultivation of rubber and arecanut in the land purchased, is totally new.
Now Mr. Kotian has rubber spread over nine acres and arecanut on two acres. The rubber plants are ready for tapping latex in about two months as they are about seven years old, he said.
Mr. Kotian said that now he has 40 cows of which 15 are milching. He sells about 130 litres to 140 litres of milk daily to the Dakshina Kannada Cooperative Milk Union Ltd (DKMUL).
A nutritionist from Mysuru who studied his dairy farming has included the best practices adopted in his dairy in the training programme on dairying, he said.
“I wanted to go back to nature,” Mr. Kotian said adding that it was a conscious decision which he took about seven years ago. “I also did not see much challenge in the profession as a software engineer,” he said.
After having studied the farming sector during his stay abroad in the countries especially like in Australia and Switzerland, Mr. Kotian said that in India farmers are not getting much support from the farming stake holders. He also worked in the United States, Japan and Singapore.
He said that many farming sector officials in the country do not visit fields.
Mr. Kotian participated in the “tarakari santhe” (market for vegetables) organised by Savayava Krishika Grahaka Balaga in the city on Sunday for the first time. He sold “suvarna gedde” (elephant yam) in the market. Of about 100 kg of the produce he brought about 50 kg had been sold by 11 a.m.