In India's Burgeoning 'Corn Bowl,' Technology and Optimism Are All the Rage
It’s early morning, and Santosh Kumar is heading to work. With his brother and some fellow farmers from their small village in India’s southwestern state of Karnataka, he walks past his neighbors’ houses painted bright pastels of blue, green and pink, through the brush to the fields a few hundred meters away.
The dirt in the empty field is parched. It’s May, the end of the dry season, compounded by a once-in-a-century heat wave that has hammered India in recent weeks. But in less than a month, the monsoon season will arrive, and countless farmers like Kumar across this part of the country will sow corn.
Kumar’s field is a typical size, about two acres. He was recently able to pull together enough money to buy the land, rather than continuing to lease it. It’s a big investment for him as he looks to start a family, having just gotten married a few weeks ago. But he will have help in growing his farm operations, thanks in part to a new training program designed by Cargill and non-profit partner TechnoServe.