With fresh milk in short supply in the district, promise to produce more litres will be a refreshing prospect. The Vithura Jersey farm, managed by the district panchayat, is undergoing modernisation and is expected to increase production to 3,000 litres a day.
If sound animal husbandry practices were to be adopted, the output can be increased gradually to 6,000 litres, says the Kerala State Housing Board, nodal agency for the modernisation project, in its detailed project report.
Work on the project, estimated at Rs. 17.03 crore, started on September 11.
The report says the location of the farm is ideal with many congenial factors for setting up an automated dairy farm. The project envisages a fully equipped medium-level automated cattle farm complex with amenities for raising quality milch cows.
The farm has been conceptualised on a “loose housing system pattern,” in which animals are kept loose in an open paddock, except during milking, treatment and breeding. For optimal utilisation of the facilities proposed, the farm can house 240 cows of hybrid varieties, the report says.
A high-tech milk parlour, the report says, will be its centre.
The automated parlour will have a cow pusher, an identification system, an activity-monitoring system, a production measurement and automatic weighing system and a teat-spraying system.
The performance reports of cows will be integrated with a dairy farm management information system of the computerised milking parlour. The system will help senior farm officers monitor and review milk production, with daily back-ups sent to them through an e-mail and file-sharing system. Remote desktop connections can be provided in the offices of the higher officials for online review the performance of the farm.
K. Chandrasekhar, district panchayat secretary, told The Hindu that the modernisation could turn the farm into a tourist attraction. The 80-hectare farm now had 150 head of cattle and goat-breeding units. With the loose housing system pattern, the farm would attract visitors similar to the Mattupetty farm in Idukki district.