Indira Agrotech FarmOne Project at Avanipuram, TN

Last Sunday I spent some time attending launch event of Indira Agrotech’s Farm One project in the outskirts of Chennai. This post provides an update on what I saw, what I was told and what I could analyze  from the event.
The Farm One scheme:
Indira Agro will allow you to invest 5 lakh rupees for a small plot (one forth of an acre in area). 50k advance while booking, balance later. It will be technically a lease to you. You won’t have absolute ownership (you can’t sell to anyone else for higher price or order the company to grow say sugarcane while they’d planned to grow paddy). You will get some organic farm produce (as per company website 50% of paddy produced in the fields (for TN customers) or 300kg rice per year (for customers outside TN). 300 kg of rice is worth approximately 15000 Rs at 50 Rs a kg, a 3 % return on your 5 lakh investment. After the lease period you can either extend it or get your money back for a guaranteed 10% appreciation. Read more details on Indira Agrotech's FarmOne project the official website here

Your possible benefits:
  1. Emotional satisfaction that you own some sort of farmland
  2. Opportunity to visit the farm during weekends with family and have a relaxed time with nature
  3. Benefits of collective farming-you might have paid for small piece, but you will have access to entire campus when you visit
  4. No need to spend/involve in actual farm work- Indira Agrotech will do it for you.
  5. Some savings on rice purchase as you get half the farm produce
  6. Some 10% guaranteed returns on the amount paid
What will company do/what is company’s gain?
Of course not officially declared- my guess is they will invest big part of the money in their other real estate projects while spending small portion to maintain the farm and its agriculture activities.

Risk Factor
Risk factor depends on how the company manages the money paid by investors. In most probablity it will be invested in other real estate projecs- if those projects do well, then no risk. If they don't then end of 3 years there could be a concern to payback the investors- even that feels like low risk-not everyone would be willing to return their farmland and take money back- many would like to extend. If only few want to opt out then there shouldn't be a concern. Also depends on if current farmland is fully paid or is under loan. If the FarmOne land is fully paid for then risk is much lower, as it can be sold off to return money to investors.

Where exactly is the Indira Agro FarmOne project?
Google maps below. The farmland is some 120kms from Chennai, off GST road near Tindivanam, in a village called Avanipuram


Mr Bhupesh Nagarajan was the key man behind the Indira Projects. He is a civil engineer and made a nice speech about the project striking the emotional cord of potential investors.
During the course of the event promoters made emotional pitch as to why an investment in farmland is a good idea. Food being very vital to our survival, even indirect involvement in farming is in a way good for overall community. Many visitors paid 50000 advance and booked their slots.

The paddy plantation machine.
Found this machine interesting. It was looking like a mini tractor or ATV, had two bigger tyres and a smaller front tyres. Had a provision for placing primary paddy saplings, trays on both sides to hold more saplings and a seat for driver. When we saw it in operation, it was manned by 3 people- a driver and two assistants who were loading paddy sapling from trays on to the dispatcher. Machine would then pick few saplings and plant them on the field. Looked interesting- but I was left wondering which is more beneficial- hiring 3-4 women workers who can do the paddy planting or buy this machine, hire 3 men to run it- the speed of the machine was only marginally more compared to what trained human hands would have done. Anyway with labor shortage all over, machines might be the future. I leave it to your discretion. 

Watch the video below for this machine in operation. Looks like the machine is purchased from Alibaba.com [Watch on Youtube]
The farm animals- had good time petting the cows. Few cows were brought in and tied to a pole to create a true farmland ambiance. The cows had very small leeway to move around as they were tied very close to the pole (lest they might hit customers!) A puja was done to these cows with vermillion and haldi put on their fare. The little calf was not comfortable with those stuff put on its head. As I went near to pet it, it rubbed its head against my trousers and transferred all the vermillion and haldi on to my pants.


Visitors tried their hand planting paddy. For many women who had visited, it kind of rekindled their past village life in which they were probably actively involved in agricultural activities. Many of them entered the field and tried sapling, despite their expensive sarees getting painted with slush. A bunch of drummers were hired to create noise, which was totally unnecessary in my opinion, but there were people who were happy to dance to the drums, so I guess it also contributed to overall event.
Visitors also planted lots of plants along the main path. Organizers said they've planned to plant around 100 trees per acre.

This project is termed Phase 1. I am assuming few more are planned.

We returned post lunch (tasty food from Vasanta Bhavan) but in small quantity. Day well spent. Good catching up with fellow bloggers who gave good company.

Nearby attractions: Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary 

Disclaimer: This blogger doesn’t have the expertise and resources to validate legality of real estate schemes and can not comment how good or bad real estate investments will be several years from now. This post only shares information and observation as made during the launch event. Individuals are required to make their own verification and use discretion while investing.

Similar: Worker's trail activity at Evolve Back, Coorg.* Riding through coconut plantations in Pollachi * Me driving tractor * Mahabaleshwar- strawberry farm visit

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