HYDERABAD : While most students tend to get confused about the career options post engineering, Likitha Bhanu had a clear cut goal in her mind. A bio-technology graduate from Vellore Institute of Technology, she wanted to make a career in the fields of renewable energy and sustainable living. While the rest of her batch mates chose a conventional career path for a stable career, she chose to get into the field of organic farming using the family property of 127 acres in Shankarapally under the name Terra Greens.
“It was my mother who is deeply involved in organic farming. Therefore, I have been closely associated with the the technique from my childhood,”says the 25-year-old entrepreneur. “I spent a major part of my childhood in Assam, where organic farming was a default practice due to the lack of resources. Hence, I wanted to make it accessible to as many people as I can,” she adds.
Talking further about Terra Greens, her brain child, Likitha says the company goes through immense amount of pain to produce the organic crop. “We have gathered around 2000 farmers from the states of Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra and train them different developing techniques. Despite that fact that there are a lot of bio fertilizers available, we chose to make our own worming compost and organic manure. We also perform random checks at frequent intervals to test for pesticide residues,” she informs.
Recalling how they used to work in the initial years of Terra Greens, she says, “I remember spending hours together in the farm, interacting with the farmers. That is when I understood the pain a farmer goes through. For a farmer, his pride is his crop.” Today, Terra Green produces about 92 products including fruits, vegetables, oils, honey etc.
Talking about the future of organic farming in the country today, Likitha feels that trends are slowly changing. “As a country, we are blessed in the terms of organic farming. People and the farmers should be made aware of the benefits of farming,” she opines. “It is a common notion among people that organic products are for the people with disposable income. The myth needs to to be busted. They are more of a necessity than luxury,” she signed off.