How to Select a Site for an Agrihood Community?

How to Select a Site for an Agrihood Community?

An agrihood community, integrates agricultural spaces and residential developments. For an agrihood community to be successful, it is important that the project site is carefully selected. Read below on how to select a right site for an agrihood community.

Following are the must-haves and good-to-have parameters while selecting the site for the project:

1. Quality of Soil: Quality of soil is critical for development of an agrihood community. Hence, a soil survey must be conducted to understand the quality of soil. The soil survey will help one understand the depth of water table and depth to a ‘constrictive layer’. These will give an understanding about the depth of the soil and the required water content to grow fruits and vegetables.

2. Site History: It is crucial to understand the history of previous activities on undertaken on the land. Presence of eucalyptus trees or old apple orchards may negatively impact the quality of soil. Also, the history will give information pertaining to contamination, if any.

3. Topography: The topography of the project site should be conducive for farming as well as development of residences. Availability of natural water source – pond, streams or lakes are likely to be a value-add. The site with natural beauty, offering scenic views with a rural back drop having topography that supports trekking or cycling trail is likely to be advantageous over a flat land.

4. Site Location: The location of an agrihood community should be preferably at a 1 – 3 hour driving distance from Tier I cities of Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Delhi NCR, Mumbai & Pune. Also, within the cities, it is preferred to have project sites located along growth quadrant as property value appreciation is one of the key parameters evaluated by the end-users.

5. Macro connectivity: Project site should be carefully studied with reference to markets, labour (farmers), and available agricultural support services in proximity. Connectivity to drop-off points of e-commerce companies must be assessed when selecting the site.

6. Regulatory Requisite: Development of Agrihood community is permissible on agricultural lands. To reach out to a larger target audience, the site should be in a state where non-farmers can purchase agricultural lands.

7. Availability of Water: It is important to understand the water source for the site and be certain about quantity and quality of water available at the site. Similarly, it is crucial to understand the power availability, feasibility to source it and cost associated towards the same.

8. Availability of Power and Internet Connectivity: It is crucial to understand the power availability, feasibility to source it and cost associated towards the same. With a lot of people having flexibility to work from home, availability of internet is an important factor.

9. Availability of social infrastructure: Proximity of the project site to basic social infrastructure needs – clinic, pre-K school and a convenience store are a value-add.

10. Land Acquisition Price: Lands having a market value ranging from INR 15 Lakhs to INR 40 Lakhs per acre should be evaluated for development of an Agrihood Community.

In India, the concept of Agrihood Communities is at a nascent stage, and we expect development of Agrihood Communities is likely to gain traction on account of increased preference for healthy lifestyle, Work from Home (WFH) and Farm – to – table Living. Going forward, agrihood communities are likely to be evaluated as an option for a second home or a weekend residence where the end-users can enjoy farming as well as stay in a rural environment.

Our latest Research Paper on Handbook for development of Agrihood Communities in India is a good read for developers, property owners and investors and provides insights and guiding notes for development, planning, partnerships, consumer insights and proptech applications in setting up and operating an Agrihood community.

About the Author

Dhara Shah

Dhara Shah

Dhara has over 10 years of experience in Real Estate Investment and Consultancy. She has executed deals worth USD 10 million and led the team on executing 100 valuation assignments in the last 3 years. Prior to joining Meraqi she has worked with Vestian, UGL Equis and BPCL. Dhara is B.E (Civil) from S.V.NIT, Surat M.Tech (Infrastructure Planning) from CEPT, Ahmedabad.