Maruthi Dairy Farm is an environmental pro venture of three professional individuals with widely different backgrounds. Two of them Mr. Gopi Easwaran & Mr. Kasturi Raju are qualified Mechanical Engineers with an MBA and with varied industrial working as well as services background of more than twenty years. Presently they run their own SSI in Bangalore, serving leading industries all over india in mechanical field. The third Partner Mrs. Prathibha is a graduate in microbiology and postgraduate in chemistry with more than a decade’s experience at Quality department in food processing and exporting Industries. She now takes care of of day to day activities of the dairy farm, which is created next to her house.
The team was passionate and dedicated about starting a green field venture which was eco-friendly and rural/agricultural community oriented and chose to set up a Model Integrated Dairy Farm incorporating modern Dairy Farming concepts, after deliberation. The Dairy Farm was set up on February 15, 2011 at Mrs. Pratibha's existing Coconut grove located at Jyothimallapura - a tiny village in T-kodihalli-post, Arasikere Taluk, Hassan District, Karnataka State which is where Miss Prathiba lives. We are proud to mention here that the Dairy Farm is now being hailed as a modern, model, integrated and one of its kind in the state of Karnataka. The dairy is equipped with modern, forward looking sheds which house adult animals, heifers and calves. The Dairy currently houses 110 animals majorly HF and a few Jersey cows.
The farm houses a range of machines - milking machines, automatic drinking water arrangements for the animals, chaff cutter, pressure washing machines etc.
The unprecedented shortage of green fodder prompted us to look for alternatives and after an exhaustive search, we located a state-of-the-art hydroponic fodder growing machine manufactured in India in association with an Australian company. The machine helps grow fodder using hydroponic technology, where nature is simulated under controlled conditions but without soil, and using minimal water and labour.
The farm generates about 1.5 MT of cow dung and about 5,000 to 6,000 Ltrs of bioslurry which is a mixture of digested dung, cow urine, wash water etc. To make the best use of resources like bioslurry and to make the dairy a financially viable and self sustaining venture, we set up a 15KVA biogas based electric generator which powers all the equipments at the farm, giving us relief from the severe unscheduled power cuts often to the tune of 16-20 hours.
- State-of-the-art cow sheds for easy handling , management as well as providing the cows with comfortable housing.
- Green fodder storage by making silage of around 200 MT during harvest season, adequate to meet 4 months requirement of the animals.
- Exclusive area for storage of various dry Fodder meeting one full year’s requirement of dry fodder.
- Innovative alternate soilless green fodder growing machine using hydroponics technology, to meet sudden green fodder requirements.
- Separate free stalls area for cows, heifers and calves to reduce the lameness in the animals by leaving them free, safe in day time within safe boundaries.
- Our own feed preparation as well as stocking with locally available grains residues and ration by adding necessary nutrients.
- To maintain hygiene of the animals, the labourers are divided/segregated to dairy section and manure producing sections. Separate and individual quarters are provided to them so that the hygiene is at high levels.
- Separate sheds/housing for calves, heifers, dry and milking cows.
- Semi Automatic milking machine for a pure & hygienic milk production.
- Installation of Pressure washing machines for a thorough cleaning and bathing of animals as well as to maintain cleanliness inside the sheds.
- Biogas unit for producing cooking gas and power.
- Very reliable and fool proof power back up to answer the frequent power shut down. Grid Power – biogas based Generator - diesel Generator- UPS back up - minimum solar Lighting.
- Good office management/administration systems for maintaining good animal health care, well equipped with stocking of all basic & emergency drugs, daily visit of experienced veterinarian for health management, cold storage system for storing of critical drugs and proven semen, automatic computation & records maintenance at the farm.
- Production of organic manure - vermicompost, compost, enriched compost, vermiwash and packing/marketing of the same according to the local farmers' needs.
- Rain water harvesting to recharge the available bore well in the farm as well as a well networked drainage for feeding the same to the surrounding coconut grove.
- Stocking of bioslurry – 300 KL capacity underground cement tank. The slurry is pre-digested & pathogen free and is an excellent organic manure, very beneficial to crops, improving productivity, soil fertility and micronutrients.
One of our underlying intentions in starting a dairy farm in such a remote location was to showcase to the farming community the viability of a dairy farm and to revive their deteriorating interest towards farming as a dependable livelihood. The idea was to show the farmers that by adopting modern techniques without foregoing the native methods, dairy farming can be a successful venture, providing local employment in the process.
Our efforts have been recognised and supported by state government owned organisations - GKVK, UAS, District Commissioner offices, Animal Husbandry Dept. and other private institutions and organisations. Some of the awards we have received are Arasikere Sahithya Sammelana Taluk Progressive Dairy Farmer Award 2011, Hassan District Kannada Rajyothsava Progressive Dairy Farmer Award 2012, State Level Corp Award for Progressive Dairy Farmer Award 2012. Apart from that, we have been appointed as Director to the GKVK, Bangalore as a recognised Agro Industrialist for two years.
With this experience, Maruthi Dairy has also started consultancy services in setting up Model Integrated Dairy Farms in South India (10 - 500 cows) and has taken up authorised distributorship for marketing of an Australian company’s hydroponic green fodder growing machines for state of Karnataka.
Future plans at our dairy include streamlining of all season dry fodder storing shed, expansion of additional bio-gas unit i.e., 60 cum/day digester to increase the operational period of bio-genset, streamlining the compost handling area, installing surveillance cameras to monitor and control round the clock farm activities, adopting breeding policy, segregating the heifers from adult dry animals section, commissioning economical TMR mixing plant, setting up a tiny milk processing unit to produce milk products, packaging of organic manure, creating educational and training tools for visitors, create our farm products brand in local market, create awareness to local farmers about the importance of organic manures in agriculture.
Animal farming aspirants visit our dairy farm everyday from various parts of Karnataka and from neighbouring states to understand and learn the key aspects of dairy farming, on whom we impress that dairy farming is not just a time pass side activity, but a full fledged business activity.
Written by Kasturiraju, partner in Maruthi Dairy who goes with the forum id kasturiraju