Published: 20th July 2019
Smart gardening kits to app that checks soil moisture. Why modern farmer must check out Farm 19
Before Farm19 came Eve19 which was established to help make way for the former. Lakshmi Kamal Sanjay and Ravindra Babu started it all
Switching to growing your own vegetables and fruits is really a fabulous idea. To hear. At least for most of us, especially after factoring in points like responsibility, time and so on. But what if we tell you that someone can provide smart gardening kits and a member of their team will drop by and check up on your plants. Not just this, an app can control soil moisture and watering when you are away. Farm19 can make all of this possible. And before you go on to Google their name, let us tell you that they are going to launch officially next month. And we got in touch with Lakshmi Kamal Sanjay to find out exactly what he is going to offer.
Before starting out, they had conducted a survey in Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Visakhapatnam and found out that more than 80 per cent of the people would like to grow their own vegetables and fruits
Armed with an MBA in Rural Development from Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India, Gujarat, Sanjay from Visakhapatnam always knew his heart belongs to farms and farmers. After Gujarat, he went to Jharkhand to work as the Deputy District Manager with the state government. He also served as the Constituency Development Advisor in Visakhapatnam. To gather funds to start Farm19, he switched to his second and third love, sports and adventure. He started Eve19, an event management, adventure and sports company and after a few years, finally started working on his pet project, Farm19. "Many people are passionate about growing their own food and we want to make that happen," says the 27-year-old. They even have mini farms where you can tell them what fruits and vegetables you would like to eat for the week, and they will grow that on their farm and deliver it to you. You must be aware of hydroponics, the method of growing plants without soil. If yes, then you must also be aware that the kit of hydroponics is usually made of plastic. Farm19have also managed to get biodegradable kits from Salem in Tamil Nadu. "We also provide natural seeds instead of hybrid seeds which are usually provided," he says. And these are just some of the things they do.
The A team: Some of the team members of Farm19 | (Pic: Farm19)
For young students, they organise farm visits. "This will make sure students gain practical knowledge of farming," says Sanjay, who co-founded Farm 19 with Ravindra Babu, who has over 15 years of experience. They will also eventually offer internships for three and six months through a Rural Immersion Programme which sounds like a very exciting opportunity for youngsters.
They also offer farmland development and agriculture consultancy services
And between all this, they haven't forgotten the farmers. They eliminate the need for middlemen and purchase directly from farmers at market price. And as for the future, they want to expand into Hyderabad and Bengaluru. For now, save the date for August 15 as that's when they will launch their app. So, what are the launch plans, why are the VVIPs he is planning to invite, we inquire. He says, "No one. For us, our farmers are our VVIP."
Want to grow plants, but are not sure which ones? These are the plants you can easily grow in your veranda:
Aloe vera: Low-maintenance, these plants only need to be watered when their soil appears dry
Tomatoes: They grow well indoors and in a pot, but make sure that they have enough sunlight
Lettuce greens: They take less space and are surprisingly easy to grow
Money plant: Of course, these creepers are a common house plant everywhere
Striking a pose: Lakshmi Kamal Sanjay | (Pic: Farm19)