Amith Kishan quit his job as a banker to pursue natural farming and founded Hebbuvu Farms, which employs hundreds of women and raises its food responsibly.
This is the farm owned by Amith Kishan in Andhra Pradesh.
Concerned by the rising prevalence of food laced with chemicals, the 33-year-old Bengaluru resident left his corporate position in the banking industry to adopt traditional agricultural techniques and transform the way food is produced, harvested, and eaten.
Hebbevu Farms is operated by Amith with the goal of giving clients fresh and organic vegetables, pulses, and dairy products. He substituted the use of plastics, chemicals, and tractors with eco-friendly practises and relied on conventional farming techniques while keeping sustainability as his primary concern.
Agriculture ought to be practised sustainably. We have been doing zero budget farming successfully for the last four years. To maintain soil safety over the long term, we cultivate everything naturally and don’t use artificial fertilisers, the Penukonda resident told The Better India.
“We make wood-pressed oil, utilise desi cow dung and urine, and plough the ground with bulls. We exclusively plant native seeds and cultivate organically produced food. Our farm’s distinctiveness is indigenous farming, he continues.
Amith cultivates over 40 different species of food grains and vegetables in addition to dairy products and vegetable oils, including native varieties of brinjals and groundnut, gangabhavani coconuts, white chickpeas, and pulses like toor (pigeon pea), moong (green gramme), and urad (black gramme).
From banks to farms
Amith handled prominent corporations in Bengaluru during his eight years of employment with several banks, including ICICI, Bajaj, Axis, HDFC, and Punjab National Bank (PNB). But he had a constant desire to return to his roots and work as a farmer like his grandpa.
“The area’s most well-known farmer was my grandfather. We used to go to the farm as kids and play in the dirt while he worked in the field’, he remembers.
When he lost a customer to cancer, he became inspired to leave the corporate world and continue in his grandfather’s footsteps. “There was someone who had insurance via me. He succumbed to cancer over a period of 1.5 years. I handled all of the family’s claim procedures. Looking
At this point, I realised that we need to change the way we live and the food we consume since neither is up to par. I wanted to make that right. Everything was pressuring me to perform better, the man claims.
Amith left his work in 2016 to pursue a career as a farmer. He reflects on the first several months, “We didn’t know what to plant and when. We would cultivate groundnuts in the fields where the neighbours’ farmers produced chilies. The kharif and rabi seasons were beyond our comprehension, he claims.
He and his brother Ashrith co-founded Hebbevu Farms in 2019 after three years of research and development. “Everything was started from scratch. In order to learn the specifics of farming, we spoke with several organic farmers
However, pursuing ecological farming also has its share of difficulties. “Every farmer in the nearby fields used pesticides to cultivate food. When I first began producing food without the use of pesticides, people scoffed at me and called me an idiot. Insects would attack my farm as a result of their chemical spraying. I attempted to educate them about natural and organic agricultural methods as well in order to survive,” he says.
Amith used natural methods including ploughing the ground to a depth of 4 feet to encourage greater root development and potassium-boosting cow dung, cow urine, and bananas in place of artificial fertilisers.
As a consequence, earthworms, which had become extremely rare due to the use of pesticides in farming, began to appear once more in our soil. But when we brought local animals to our fields, we saw an increase in farming,” he explains.
Today, 700 native cows and buffaloes, including Gir, Sahiwal, and Jafarabadi, live on his land. The sale of dairy products, production of biogas, and promotion of farm tourism are all made possible by the cows, buffaloes, and bulls, he continues. Apart from that, he only uses solar energy, which has allowed him to cut his monthly electricity costs from Rs 3 lakh to Rs 40,000.
Beginning with a debt of Rs 1.5 crore and a 15-acre property, Amith now generates an annual income from his field of Rs 21 crore.
An army of 3,000 rural women
Amith works with a legion of rural women in addition to a staff of 120 people. More than 3,000 women from 18 adjacent villages, including Chinnamanthur, Mavutur, Peddamanthuru, Roddam, and Madakasira, have been hired by him thus far.
Each day, we provide each lady 25 litres of milk to use in the production of ghee, paneer, and other dairy products. Every kilogramme of our A2 desi cow Bilona ghee produced provides one lady from the village with a direct job opportunity, the farmer claims.
Working with Amith for the past three years is Govindamma from the hamlet of Mavaturu. The widow and single mother used to work as a daily bet. “I would only be hired for 12 days a month, earning Rs 200–300 daily. The 48-year-old woman says, “After my husband passed away, the entire financial responsibility landed on me.
The happy paid worker today may expect to receive up to Rs 15,000 per month in regular pay. This money has allowed me to build a home for my family of four, she continues.
Amith thinks his decision to become a farmer was the greatest one, despite the fact that many rural women feel powerful. I used to leave for work in Bengaluru at eight in the morning, slog through the smog, and return only at eight in the evening. Burgers served as our only supper. I have a tranquil, leisurely life here, spend enough time with my family, and we can pick fruit straight from the tree whenever we want,” he claims.
“There, I used to work and exhaust myself for others, but here, I work for myself and my village,”