Presenting an unconventional investment option and an opportunity to experience farm life, Hosachiguru, a Bengaluru-based agricultural asset management startup, was founded in 2014 by Sriram Chitlur and Ashok J. Srinath Setty then joined the team as the third core member.
Hosachiguru helps buyers own and manage well-managed farmland for long-term wealth benefits. The name Hosachiguru is the fusion of the Kannada terms’hosa‘(meaning’ new ‘) and’chiguru‘(which means’ to push’)
“The idea was to make investing in farmland financially attractive while choosing to live a greener life and give back to nature,” said Srinath Setty, founder of Hosachiguru. DH.
Farm asset management is a centuries-old concept in India, says Setty. “However, it is only recently that farmland management has become available to ordinary people as a service model. Often people are demotivated by owning farmland due to the high investment and maintenance costs associated with single land ownership, let alone the marketing of products. Hosachiguru offers a model that not only manages your farmland, but also makes you part of a larger community of like-minded urban farmers, ”he explains.
Hosachiguru raised an undisclosed amount from an angel investor about 4 years ago by Venkat Narayan, CEO of Prestige Group. The company currently has 20 sustainable projects with more than 1,000 acres of cultivated land. Hosachiguru has planted over a million trees and manages nearly $ 30 million in assets.
The company is expected to close the year with a turnover of Rs 50 crore, according to Setty. On the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, he said, “Surprisingly, we received the maximum number of requests for investments in farmland during the pandemic and we continue to do so, even now. We understood that this was truly a wake-up call to many who felt trapped in the city environment and yearned for a meaningful investment that had a multitude of personal, environmental and community benefits.
Setty mentions that their farms are smart farms supported by sensors and IoT devices that enable precise planning of the startup’s operations. “Our goal is to use precision agriculture to make informed decisions, supported by scientific research that is mutually beneficial for our customers and the environment. We also intend to launch the Farm to Fork model for fresh vegetables and greens from farms that will be closer to Bengaluru. “
The majority of Hosachiguru farms are located on the border of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. This year, the company plans to launch expansion projects in more privileged areas of Karnataka. “With the Land Reform Act of 2020 now allowing anyone to own farmland, the market has never been bigger for us and we plan to serve it to the best of our ability,” said Setty.
He explains that the cost of owning farmland depends on the size of the land, the type of project, and the location. Buyers can choose between ¼ acre, ½ acre and 1 acre plots with prices varying between Rs 18 lakh and Rs 60 lakh. The monthly cost can vary from 20 paise per square foot to 40 paise per square foot depending on the crop and size of the land.
“There are certain fixed maintenance costs that apply to all owners of farmland in Hosachiguru. These include essential services such as security and surveillance, water supply, electricity, and pension maintenance. Fixed maintenance costs are mandatory. However, an individual owner of agricultural land can withdraw from farming services such as plantation management, fertilizer supply, irrigation, etc. at any time. offered by Hosachiguru.
Explaining the benefits of owning managed farmland, Setty explains that the landowner can grow any crops they want or even grow a mini-forest with timber trees. The proceeds from the sale of the harvest can be used by the owners of the property for short-term wealth, and timber such as teak and sandalwood can be grown for long-term income generation.
“In addition to the economic benefits, managed farmland opens up opportunities for individuals and families to live in communities far from the city while remaining connected to them. It could be a weekend option or a temporary work-from-home facility, ”he adds.