They have turned into social entrepreneurs by designing a farm-based ‘Bottom of Pyramid” project — a dairy hostel, for the poorest of the poor rural women.
The project, Healthy Farm Products Pvt. Ltd., set up in the quaint ambience of Lakshmipuram village under Veerulapadu mandal of Krishna district, is conceived by Chennupati Vazeer and Madhav Kshatriya. The former has a transport background while the latter had been dealing with sales and marketing sector.
“India is home to a large bovine population and yet we have low milk productivity. More importantly, marginal farmers are migrating to cities, thereby bringing down the milk supply,” says Mr. Kshatriya blaming what he calls ‘inept and unsustainable Government policies and schemes.’
“Cooperative movement is good but inadequate,” he says adding: “Our marginal farmers lack access to technology. We at the farm here have introduced best practices to ensure quality milk,” informs Mr. Vazeer, talking about the care taken about the animal comfort, feeding process and the cutting-edge technology used to milk the animals.
The dairy farm is home to 200 cows and 60-odd calves. The animals are kept in hygienic environs and fed on high-protein silage, a blend of greens, dry matter and high energy components.
Pointing to a dirty-looking tractor, Mr. Kshatriya informs that it is used to clean up the place. “All the dung is pushed into a dung pit at the end of every row, which is later shifted to a digester of a bio-gas plant.
The farm is also equipped with three giant pits, each packed with about 1,000—1,200 tons of silage. This is to ensure high quality fodder to the animals throughout the year.
Milking parlour is a technology-equipped section which allows utmost hygiene besides displaying on a monitor the yield of each cow.
The Dairy Hostel is an inclusive social business model aimed at nurturing women entrepreneurs in the hugely opportune dairy sector in the days to come.
“More importantly, it creates an ecosystem which lets the women afford and access modern technology when they are integrated. The major objective is to stop farmers migrating to cities and to extend socio-economic value to rural women. We want to create at least 1,000 women entrepreneurs in a span of 10 years who can make a decent living and may create jobs for many others,” says Mr. Kshatriya.