I don't know whether I should ask this question here or not, but I could not find any stackexchange website related to agriculture, so I found this website most near to agriculture, and I think that there are experienced plant growers of many countries here. If so, please give me proper guidance.

I live in a rural area of ​​India and my ancestors have been cultivating land for many years, and now I am also interested in it. We have done traditional farming for many years, like wheat, mustard, millet and cotton.

Is it possible to cultivate the land as to self-sustain my family and to have a living standard close to that of a doctor or engineer? What should I cultivate and how to cultivate in order to earn self-sustainability as fast as possible?

What steps do I take to reach my goal?

Editor's note: there are parts of the world where growing plants is considered to be farming, especially in rural communities where mechanization is less common. Due to the fact that in more technologized areas of the world farming is considered to be large-scale agriculture and often involves animal farming, I have replaced this term with growing plants in order to reduce ambiguity.

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    My advice: Don't go look for high income, look for high life quality.
    – J. Chomel
    Commented Oct 6, 2017 at 11:47
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    In the UK, farmers are absolutely not rich - the suicide rate is very high amongst farmers too. Historically, the only rich farmers were 'landed gentry' or 'gentlemen farmers', meaning land owners, often with family money, who had workers paid very little in tied cottages, living poorly, with all the profits going to the landowner. Quality of life is probably the thing to look for rather than big money.
    – Bamboo
    Commented Oct 6, 2017 at 14:08
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it belongs to something like area51.stackexchange.com/proposals/103884/agriculture-farming once it's activated. Commented Oct 6, 2017 at 21:30
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    One thing to try could be crowdfunding to use your skills for causes some people care about. eg. Planting trees around rivers isha.sadhguru.org/rally-for-rivers . Btw I am an unemployed software engineer.
    – Himanshu
    Commented Oct 7, 2017 at 1:56
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    I voted to keep this question open because there's no other SE site more closely related.
    – Alina
    Commented Oct 7, 2017 at 23:00

3 Answers 3


I can tell you the situation in the Netherlands (Europe), which I expect to be very different from India.

In the Netherlands about 20 % of all (working) millionaires are farmers. Most of these farmers have cows, for milk production. The reason they are 'tagged' millionaires is because they own land, and land is expensive in a small country as the Netherlands. So these farmers are especially rich on paper, not so much in having money on the bank. Of course in The Netherlands (or Europe) we also have a lot of funding by the government, to help farmers. If the price of milk is too low, the government will compensate. So I think the situation is very different from the situation in India.

If you want my opinion, and I am not a farmer but a biologist, if you want to make more money with farming than average, you should find a crop that is special. A crop that nobody wants to grow, like finding a niche in the market.

Good luck!

  • same here in india, we are rich on papers, not so much in having money on the banks. & |||crop that nobody wants to grow||| is there any? Commented Oct 6, 2017 at 13:49
  • You'll have to find it, that special crop. When I was young, my father was part-time farmer and he always had a small piece of his land cultivated with those flat sugar snaps. In those days these beans were not popular in the Netherlands, but Chinese restaurants needed them. Because they were not popular these restaurants paid a good price for them. My father knew about it and therefore always sold them to them. This just as an illustration.
    – benn
    Commented Oct 6, 2017 at 14:05
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    means i need to understand business environment, anyway thanks bro for valuable advise. Commented Oct 6, 2017 at 14:10

Yes, but you must be smarter than a doctor or engineer: some of the richest are php engineers.

It is mainly economy: if there are many people that could do something, they will fight to produce it for less, the price will be low.

So to have high gain you need something unique or seldom. Often this could be a terroir (just a piece of land in a well named place), or a lot of land (so less competition, but now the competition is at world level), a good producer (so being a good engineer, to reduce costs and optimizing production for you place, culture, etc.) or a niche product (which sometime is linked to "terroir"). What buyers are looking for? Could you produce it for them? Doesn't look old product, but pharmaceutical industry needs a lot of herbs. The problem that few people know how to produce them (so you need to be a scientist and try). Chemical, perfume industries are also looking for good stuffs (and they pay well). Special tea, wine, etc. are also well received (but more difficult to differentiate from others).

Or just increase your land area, and be the smart person that explain the other how to do things.

  • Nice, Giacomo! What is it that you do again? Marketing expert for sure! 'Be the Smart Person' I just love this line!!
    – stormy
    Commented Oct 7, 2017 at 0:24
  • @stormy: No absolutely. I'm not a marketing person and BTW I hate them (just because they study humans in order to make them to buy what they would not buy. Marketing is how to make some product look better as the other, without caring about real quality). And I'm cheap: I have no idea what could be the "different products". I just read a lot and I make links between different fields. (and this answer is most;y on economy field, which I'm also not an expert). Commented Oct 9, 2017 at 8:38
  • Giacomo, you have 'true grit'...I like what you've said...
    – stormy
    Commented Oct 9, 2017 at 10:35

The main risk with farming is there is risk. You can not control the weather. Farming unfortunately has become a major game completely embroiled in politics. Many times you make more money NOT planting than you will trying to grow food or whatever.

Part of the reward from farming is hard to quantify or qualify. So if money is important, farming is probably not going to be your thing. Selling it to someone would be far better.

If you would like to take a peek into this world and this venue to 'make a living' you definitely need to take agricultural classes; botany, soils, geology, entomology, politics with a specialty for farming, grow your own gardens starting immediately.

Farming is a field where you will learn about our world that few of your friends would or could understand. Get as much education as possible, get going collecting experience of any kind and be very humble. Farming, growing plants is not something one can just start doing...but the act of learning in this field is more valuable than you can imagine. You will never make as much as 'doctors' or 'engineers'...but making lots of money is not what happiness and success is truly all about.

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