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Updated: November 28, 2012 16:53 IST

Chemistry postgraduate’s experiments with dairy farming

B. S. Satish Kumar
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K.B. Pratibha
The Hindu
K.B. Pratibha

She quit city job and now earns Rs. 3 lakh a month

At a time when people believe agriculture is not a profit-making career move, here is a postgraduate in chemistry who quit a well-paying job in Bangalore to take up animal husbandry.

Twenty-nine-year-old K.B. Pratibha of Jyothi Mallapura in Arsikere taluk has already made her mark in her chosen field. Mixing entrepreneurial skills with animal husbandry has not only ensured handsome earnings, but has also earned her Statewide recognition by winning the Corporation Bank-sponsored Corp Award, given by the University of Agricultural Sciences-Bangalore, for progressive farmers on Tuesday.

“I was heading the quality wing in a private pharmaceutical firm for a salary of Rs. 60,000 a month. But I started feeling the urge to do something eco-friendly as I was dealing with chemicals every day in my job. Since we had eight acres of ancestral land in Arsikere taluk, I decided to take up animal husbandry,” Ms. Pratibha, the youngest farmer to receive the State-level award, said.

“I didn’t know anything about animal husbandry. So I took some basic training and then began with five cows. Now I have about 100 cows of which 20 yield milk, accounting for about 400 litres a day,” she said. She now plans to venture into milk by-products when production touches 1,000 litres a day.

While learning about dairy farming, she realised that most of the cattle feed had a low energy component. As a challenge, she started home production of cattle feed to suit her requirements. She now sells it under the brand name Akshaya dhaarini. There is a huge demand for it from farmers around the village. “I sell about 10 tonnes of cattle feed a month,” she said.

She has also set up a biogas unit that generates 15 kilowatts of power to take care of her dairy’s power requirements. She uses the bio-slurry for growing various horticultural crops. What she does not need, she sells at a rate of 60 paise a litre.

“I earn an average of Rs. 3 lakh a month,” she said. Even before you can compliment her, she added, “Rs. 3 lakh is not enough as my investment is also huge. I hope to go beyond the breakeven point next year,” she said.

She has no regrets of quitting her job to move to the village. “I would not have earned this much if I had continued in Bangalore. More importantly, I would not have got this much job satisfaction.” She recalls how her friends had thought that it was a crazy idea to take up dairy farming in a village. “But today, they admire me,” she said proudly.

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