After knowing his passion for plant care during the COVID-19 pandemic, A Srinath, a 29-year-old Malaysian, made the bold decision to leave his career as a software engineer and start a chilli farm in his hometown. In a recent interview with Bernama, Srinath shared his journey from tech to agriculture, detailing how it all began.

During the Movement Control Order (MCO), Srinath and his eldest brother initiated a small-scale farm near their parents' home in Kampung Changkat Jong, Teluk Intan, Perak. They cultivated over 400 polybags of red chilli plants using fertigation—a method where liquid fertiliser is delivered through an irrigation system. The unexpectedly successful yield ignited Srinath's interest in farming.

"After the work-from-home period ended, I returned to Subang Jaya for my office job, but I realized that I derived immense satisfaction from farming," said Srinath, an Information Technology graduate from Universiti Tenaga Nasional.

Following discussions with his parents, Srinath decided to resign from his engineering position after three years and pursue chilli farming full-time. Utilizing RM50,000 in savings, he invested in building a storage facility and acquiring essential equipment such as polybags, pipes, and water pumps to establish his farm.

To enhance his agricultural knowledge, Srinath attended courses organized by the Perak Department of Agriculture on various topics, including seedling germination, fertiliser and pesticide mixing, and fertigation techniques. His dedication and efforts have yielded significant results.

Srinath now leases a 0.68-hectare plot of land and employs three workers to manage over 2,500 polybags of 'Kulai 461' red chilli plants. His farm generates an income of approximately RM40,000 to RM50,000 per season, with a yield of about five tonnes. The chillies are sold in markets and grocery stores throughout Teluk Intan and to wholesalers in Selayang, Selangor, with prices ranging from RM6 to RM11 per kilogram.

While acknowledging the challenges of growing red chillies, such as pest infestations and diseases, Srinath finds immense satisfaction in his new vocation. "I enjoy and feel satisfied working on this fertigation chilli farm. I am also growing cucumbers on a small scale," he noted.

Looking to the future, Srinath has ambitious plans to expand his operations. "I have long-term plans to expand operations, and of course, I want to continue this venture in my hometown," he added.

Srinath's journey from a software engineer to a successful chilli farmer exemplifies the rewards of following one's passion and the potential for success in unexpected fields.

Source / Image Credit : Bernama