Diwakar Channappa Left ISRO To Start Date Farming In Karnataka, Earns Double Today- Making 6 Lakhs Per Acre

Organic Farming By Akarshi Srivastava | 4 min read

Diwakar Channappa

If given a choice between a luxurious life while working at top companies like Google, Infosys, ISRO or working at an ancestral agricultural land with a sweaty lifestyle, most of us would go for the first option, for sure. But Diwakar Channappa from Karnataka left his well-paying job at ISRO for farming and you won’t believe that today he earns double that from ISRO. Read more to learn how he justifies his decision!

Who is Diwakar Channappa?

Diwakar Channappa is a common man, just like all of us, hailing from a small village in Karnataka. Born into a middle-class family, he always lived with his mother. His father was occupied with handling the financial duties of the family by practicing farming at their 7.5-acre big ancestral farm in Saganahalli, Karnataka. He used so many chemicals and fertilizers for his crops but the operations did not yield good results.

The struggle to feed his family was constant in his life and for this reason, he never wanted his son, Diwakar Channappa, to take up farming as a profession. His father felt that a constant job was much better than being dependent on crop cultivation. To fulfill the dreams and aspirations of his dad, he did what most kids do. Diwakar Channappa completed his post-graduation in social work and began his corporate life with ISRO. But life had different plans for him!

Why did Diwakar Channappa leave ISRO?

Soon after joining ISRO, he started reading the book ‘One Straw Revolution by Masanobu Fukuoka, a Japanese philosopher and organic farmer. By that time he was also a visiting professor at Tumkur University in Karnataka but the book spiked a fire in him to go back to his roots and take up farming as his lifetime profession.

Diwakar Channappa - date farming
Source : FaceBook

It was not an easy decision considering the financial conditions of his family but the morals of the book were quite inspiring for him. The book raised a concern about abandoning chemically loaded modern agriculture and returning to the heritage of natural and organic farming followed by traditional practices as well.

He thought a lot and after months of decision-making, he finally left his job at ISRO to unite with his father but in a traditional manner and take up farming as a profession.

Where did he get the idea of date farming in Karnataka?

While he was still figuring out the proper idea of farming in the initial phase, he attended a Krishi Mela in Bengaluru to get more clear ideas about his starting point. There, a farmer was distributing templates on ‘date farming in Tamil Nadu’. First, he laughed at the idea of cultivating a desert crop in South India but it aroused a curiosity inside him and he wanted to meet the man in person.

Diwakar Channappa - date farming
Source : Wikimedia

Upon meeting him, he realized that the climate of Dharmapuri, Tamil Nadu where that man was growing dates was quite similar to Karnataka and this was his ray of hope for starting his career as a farmer. After that day, he put in his share of research and began date farming in Karnataka by investing a high price of 4 Lakh rupees. But, the challenges before starting this journey were too big to ignore in his life!

Challenges Faced By Diwakar Channappa

Diwakar Channappa and his idea of resignation met a strong wave of opposition from his parents. The parental concern raised questions such as when his father was not able to earn much profit while being a farmer for years then how can he expect to be a perfectionist when he has never sown a seed before in his life? Being persistent in his decision, he chose to keep aside his mother’s tears for leaving a well-paying job and went ahead with his decision to continue farming. This was the biggest challenge for him as emotional turmoil is not at all easy to handle.

Apart from this, Diwakar Channappa lost his image in the family for leaving ISRO, so he had mental pressure to do something that could help him earn his reputation back.

“Back to the soil” – the success of date farming in Karnataka after multiple struggles!

In 2009, Diwakar Channappa began farming with his father opting for the chemical-based method only as he was in the learning process. Right after the initials were clear, Diwakar Channappa began date farming by planting the saplings. For the first four years, nobody believed it would grow but in 2013, the first flower appeared which was followed by 70 more.

Diwakar Channappa - date farming
Source : FaceBook

The total output was 650 kg which fulfilled his purpose of regaining his lost image in everyone’s eyes. Today, his farm is known as ‘Marali Mannige’ which means giving back to the soil. Since 2013, there has been no looking back for Diwakar Channappa as he sold more than 4 tonnes of dates in 2023. He proved that date farming in Karnataka was worth leaving his job at ISRO.

Since Diwakar Channappa began date farming in Karnataka with a motive of giving back to the soil for the first few years, he did not sell any of his harvests in any market but instead hosted a harvesting festival on his farm. In that harvesting festival, the customers are allowed to pluck the first fruit and eat it for free. Then, depending upon their experience, they buy. Today, a majority of his customers are from his harvest festival only!

Where to get pure organic dates in Karnataka?

Diwakar Channappa prepares varieties of crops like panchagavya (a blend of cow dung, cow urine, milk, curd, jaggery, ghee, etc.), agni astra (main component – neem leaves), green manure, jeevamrit, etc. Since he needed jaggery for date farming in Karnataka, he began making jaggery as well.

Channappa proved to us all that a stubborn and dedicated man can do anything. So, next time you look for some delicious dates, you can trust his farm blindly for pure organic dates in Karnataka. Mad4India appreciates his efforts and salutes his decision to take up organic farming by leaving ISRO.

Shop pure organic dates from their website and have a sweet experience!

For copyright purposes, links of the feature image – Wikipedia, FaceBook

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take for a date plant to grow?

It usually takes 4-8 years for a date plant after planting to bear fruit.

In which soil date plants are sown?

Soil with pH 8 to 11 is an ideal one for growing date plants.

Can a diabetic patient eat dates?

Dates have great nutritional value. So yes, a diabetic person can take two to three servings of dates without any harm.

If you loved reading this blog on date farming by the Ex-ISRO scientist Diwakar Channappa, then do give a read to 5 Less Talked Advantages Of Organic Farming That Will Force You To Change To Organic Food Only.

If you know more inspirational stories about any person, company, new idea, or social initiative, write to us at mad4india.com, or share such information with us on FacebookLinkedIn or Instagram.

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