The taboo that associated farming with the economically backward class of the society is fast changing as highly qualified youth see it as a business opportunity. Saima Bhat travels to some of the picturesque locations in Kashmir to meet an entrepreneur who is out to change the trend
Fazal Amin, who is in his late twenties, left his lucrative job in Mumbai to realize his childhood dream of rearing sheep in his native town Sopore in North Kashmir. It was not an easy decision for him as his father, a successful contractor, wished his son to join him in his business.
After completing his degrees, MBA and then LLB from Pune in 2008 Fazal started a job in Mumbai as HR manager in Patni computers where he stayed for two years till 2010. Finally he returned home.
Back home he wished to work but didn’t find a job which suits him. After a research of complete one year he decided to continue with his hobby of rearing sheep.But it was a different step. For the place like Sopore where people are mostly associated with the horticulture business, and for which the town is known for, Fazal wished to do something different.
What matured Fazal’s idea of rearing sheep was when he read an advertisement of JKEDI in 2011 about the start of a course in entrepreneurship.“After joining those classes my idea became clearer and I decided of starting a sheep farm,” says Fazal. And adds besides that, EDI was providing an additional support, loans to new budding entrepreneurs at promised less interest rate, Seed capital fund loan scheme. Under this scheme one part of loan is given as subsidy and other part has to be returned to the J&K Bank after two years.
Fazal says to fulfill all formalities for loan was a very hectic process. “Even after completing the course with EDI, a loan of only Rs two lakhs @ 9 % interest rate was sanctioned in July 2012, for which I had applied in January.”. “Loan amount was released in July but that point of time livestock remain in mountainous areas for grazing and I decided to go to those areas and buy the livestock first. But I was asked by EDI to build infrastructure first which could have been done after that,” says Fazal.
The plan got changed and Fazal started building infrastructure. As decided earlier he was going to build the infrastructure on modern and scientific method, wooden Batten flooring.
He started the infrastructure work from the money he had earned from his job and from the loan amount. “I had some saving as I had started earning from the first year of my college.”
Finally the infrastructure was build. Fazal says it took him almost Rs 12 lakhs to build a farm on scientific method. And then he named it after his grandfather, Ramzaan Agro farms. He joined the newly set trend of educated youth joining different innovative ideas of becoming entrepreneurs.