Beside financial sector like stocks, mutual fund and bond, I have an alternate portfolio in direct investment in agro/agriculture sector : paddy fields and banana farm.

Banana farm is my long desire. I have wanted it for a long time even before my investment in stocks and mutual fund. Due to tight budget, I thought I would buy a little area to plant bananas, let say only 1000 square meters. Just enough to plant about 200-250 banana seed.

At the end of last year, my brother Qchen told me that he has an offer from his colleague who wants to sell his property, unmanaged banana farm located at Karawang, East Jakarta. The problem is the size of the farm : 8300 square meters and it will exceeded my budget.

Initially I was not interested as it will burn some cash while I need it for emergency fund, but I changed my mind after visiting the farm and see it as a good opportunity to have a direct investment with short time for a break even point.

Indeed, the price is good, but I still have to withdraw mutual funds and move some cash deposit to finance the purchase.

In February, we began to clear the farm. Cut down wild trees, removing unproductive banana trees, preparing planting holes and burn wild grass and dried leaves. We do it all together with local farmer and my family. I love to work with local community and considered it as good exercise to myself.

In early March 2020, we have already planted a part of the planting area, 3000 square meters of 8300 square meters. The rest are still waiting for further cleaning, preparation planting hole, initial fertilizer and the arrival of banana seeds that I bought from seed providers outside our district.

This banana farm investment will be a long journey, it takes at least 1 year to start harvesting, but this will be an interesting experience because I can keep learning, empowering the surrounding people and at the same time, waiting for a good returns 🙂

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