KOCHI: Work from mountains may be a familiar concept. But how about working from a farm? And who wouldn’t want to be in a serene spot lined by plants and trees and high on oxygen! Ask Ejaz Salim, a mechanical engineer-turned farm entrepreneur, and he will tell you a farm is the ideal work environment for any city-dweller. “You may be an artist or a software developer, but you can always be inspired by nature,” quips Ejaz, founder of Grun Agro Pvt Ltd, a venture that focuses on technology-driven agriculture.
Ejaz is in the process of setting up the perfect ‘work-from-farm’ setup. His journey started a few years ago after he quit his job in West Asia. Upon returning home, he thought plenty about going back to being a farmer. Ejaz started farming on family-owned land. “I borrowed it from my relatives and that’s where the experiments began. I learned from failures,” he says. It was only a matter of time before he learned to do it right.
Ejaz views agriculture as an engineered activity with a focus is on reducing the running cost of a farm and human capital through a mechanised approach. “We plan everything, unlike the traditional route of improvising as you go and putting out fires as they come up. Sowing to harvest, everything is taken care of,” he says. He has developed an IoT device that can remotely control irrigation.
According to Ejaz, farming is highly lucrative, with plenty left to explore. “It is not a poor man’s job anymore. Technology can do wonders in the field, and there is potential; to improvise and implement technology,” he adds.
Ejaz’s venture provides all kinds of farming solutions — be it rooftop farming, backyard farming, or a large plot. But the focus is on organic vegetable farming. Having turned the one acre-80 cent plot in Thiruvananthapuram into a lush green farm, Ejaz believes karma is finally doing its trick. “My grandfather was into farming. My father opted to become a doctor. After skipping a generation, farming has returned to the family through me,” quips Ejaz.