Bank loans are not available for purchase of agricultural land.
Maintenance charges for the first two years are already included in cost. Post that, the P & L statement will determine charges or rev share. Estimates indicate this will not exceed 4.5k / month, and we are targeting a cost neutral operation in 3 years.
We’re actually cutting it very fine! Add the land costs, homes (about 650sqft), solar + grid hybrid power plant, water management structures, etc. – it adds up really quick. We’re not doing this like a regular real estate project, and the interest is in being involved in sustainable farms and their produce for the long term.
Apples to apples, We are way lower than “just land” prices that real estate folks offer in the area. We are offering this at approx. Rs.50/sq ft while ‘developers’ are doing 250-500/- a sq ft!
In setting a personal farm the costs that one incurs in terms of infrastructure (water management, staff quarters, a home, storage, equipment, etc), inputs and salaries will easily be anywhere between 20-25L/acre over a 3 year timespan. This is apart from the check dams and gully plugs that one might construct. We are able to deliver this at a low cost because of the scale. This is where the collective advantage comes in.
While the community will frame a detailed set of rules that everyone will agree to, and sign an MoA with the same details, a set of baseline ideas are as follows:
The exact structure depends greatly on each collective, the corresponding state laws, etc. However, the structure that most closely reflects the intent of an undivided estate is chosen. For eg, the Poomaale Estate, the entire estate is owned by an LLP where each member is a partner in the corresponding ratio of unit size.
We are often asked, “What does having a 1.25 acre land really mean? Are all lands parcels the same in terms of being arable, accessible, etc? Will each plot’s land be clearly earmarked? What rights do you have on your plot?” Well not all land will be exactly the same, and will not have the same usage, and the best way to make use of it is as part of a large pool. In a large ecosystem, the forest, the riparian zones, the wind breaks – all play a role. Each plot of land will be earmarked on a map and be identifiable. However there will not be physical demarcations on the ground.
Experimentation on land up to 0.25 acres is welcome, and encouraged! Any owner can submit the idea, and timeframe, and help and resourced needed for the same. If the association is ok, we’ll go ahead. If it works, we expand to larger scale. If not, cull it and pull land bank into common plans.
We estimate a timeline of about 4 years from when we start work immediately following the registration process. This can be here or there depending on the starting point of the landscape itself. For eg, If we are taking over a functioning farm, with existing infrastructure (pathways, store houses, staff quarters,etc ) then it might shorten the execution time frame by a year. It also depends on the efficiency of the government processes. States like Telangana etc are quite efficient as most of the processes are digital.
Beforest is a private limited firm responsible for
• Project conceptualization, execution oversight.
• Signing up and managing architects, farm consultants, solar vendor etc.
• Farming operations for 10 years through a contract signed with the owners’ association or co-operative.
• All land acquisition, construction, large civil work.
• Getting onboard and managing contractors for the same as necessary.
The community – association/co-op does it in accordance with the by laws. The by-laws are themselves being framed by the community with inputs from a lawyer.
The whole idea is that while most people have an intent to get involved, the amount of effort and time they might be able to put in will vary. This is why Beforest professionally manages the farm and oversees the team employed there by the collective to ensure the farm continues to make progress. However, all the effort and time members put into this will help the farm do better, accelerate the experimentation and growth of good ideas, and help create and connect access to markets, value added products, and foster micro-entrepreneurship.
Collective effort + permaculture consultant plans. 3 lakes, couple of dozen gully plugs, swales. Ground water is good, and 3 bore wells yield a lot, but the idea is to trap as much water as possible, and also reduce the need for the same as the forest takes root. In addition, trees are our superstars in the soil and water conservation continuously sinking moisture into the ground.