I appreciate your interest in taking up Farming as your career after your middle age. Educated people like must enter into commercial agriculture. There is going to be a great future for high-tech precision agriculture in the next 10–20 years.
The other posts have given you an idea of what is farming. I shall, therefore, focus on how to prepare yourself to take up farming in your forties. It is the right age to enter into agriculture.
What Is The Purpose Of Farming?
1. Farming is a noble occupation in theory, but in practice, society doesn’t respect farmers. This is a fact that you must understand well before you enter into farming.
2. Agriculture is a high-risk enterprise where many factors such as weather, market and price fluctuations, and destruction by wild animals adversely affect agriculture. You must understand this reality in farming.
3. If you are sincere and truthful in producing nutritious and pesticide-free produce for people to enjoy, you are positively serving the community, and you can also develop a unique brand that can command higher value and price from markets, as you go along. It must be your primary motive in taking up farming.
4. You can make money in agriculture if you provide the specialty produce in off-seasons when other farmers cannot compete with you. For this, you have to have greenhouses and vertical farming, including hydroponics or aquaponics.
5. Integrated mixed agriculture of crops and animals (preferably goats and ducks) or crops-animals-trees (agroforestry systems), or crops-animals-fish farming.
How Do You Develop Yourself For Ultimate Career In Agriculture?
1. First, go for some online training courses (distant education) conducted by several agricultural institutions within and outside India. You will learn the theory of farming from these courses.
2. Then, go for practical training (learning by doing) by starting a home garden on the terrace of your house or the apartment and start learning about different crops (mostly vegetables) and how to grow them.
3. During annual vacations, go to a village near your place, identify one or two or three progressive farmers who are successful in farming and making money in agriculture, spend your time with them as an apprentice to learn the tricks of making money in agriculture.
4. In the agricultural value chain, crop production is only one part of it. From creation, we move on to harvest and post-harvest management, produce collection and transport, safe storage, commodity processing, and value addition, whole-sale and retail marketing, food preparation and consumption (restaurants and homes) on the table. Once you decide which part of the commodity value chain you wish to focus on, you can then develop the plan.
5. When you are ready to plunge into farming, and you decide to build your farm, you need to select a suitable site with good soil and water resources. You should also conduct a feasibility study on what type of farm you wish to develop, develop a project proposal — both technical and financial, and organize the implementation plan. You may need an agricultural consultant to work with you during the initial periods.