Vrindavan Tharparkar Desi Cow Club – shares information on rearing and breeding Tharparkar cows

Committed to preserve and improve Tharparkar dairy breed of India

“Tharparkar cows are great asset to our Indian heritage however it is almost on the verge of getting extinct! Its existence could be limited to only books as a beautiful grayish-white coloured cow but would not be available on the farmland across the country therefore to save it from getting vanished completely from our country we decided to restore it,” affirms Mr. Chandrakant Bharekar, founder, Vrindavan Tharparkar Desi Cow Club. Exclusively indigenous Tharparkar bulls, cows and calves are reared at the club. “We are 100% dedicated to only this desi breed of India. We are not even in the favour of cross-breeding amongst the desi breeds of India. We want to bring back the original breed with all its unique features and characteristics by breeding cows and bulls of Tharparkar breed only taking care of its clan (family bloodline).”

Mr. Bharekar is a builder by profession but being from agriculture based family he knows the role of cows in the human life. Thereby on seeing the pitiable condition of Tharparkar breeds, four years before he started working to revitalize the breed. He thought to involve like-minded people in this noble program of protecting Tharparkar breed instead of doing at personal level. Thus taking the project to the community level he laid the foundation of Vrindavan Tharparkar Desi Cow Club that is committed for rearing and breeding pure Tharparkar cows in the traditional and ethical manner. “The idea to establish the club is modern and more appealing because with the cow offerings (milk, dung and urine) the members could be benefitted as their health would be improved. Starting the club is a win-win situation for Tharparkar breed as well as members. We are trying our level best to understand the medicinal and gainful properties of cow urine, dung and milk in the same order of importance. We are also dedicated to re-establish the valuable role of cows in farming. We also want to increase farmers’ income and enable him to produce healthy nutrient rich food for the masses using various by-products from cow urine and dung,” he states. The dairy farm and club are located at Bhukum village, 18 km away from Pune, Maharashtra. It was started in the year 2013. It spreads in 27 acres having the cow shed in 10 acre and rest of the area is used for producing fodder.

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As the main purpose of the club is to protect desi cows and bulls, it took off well and is growing steadily. The club was started with five people and fifteen cows sourced from remote Rajasthan village located just 2 km away from India-Pakistan border. Today the number of members grown is 50 while the Tharparkar breed cattle herd is increased to 200+. Members of the clubs belong to different professions but share the same passion – saving cows. “In Indian religious scripture cow is given the status of goddess because its’ every offering is useful for the mankind in some way or the other. It is much beyond being a source of milk! Besides milk, dung and urine of only Indian desi cows is loaded with medicinal properties not of foreign dairy animals like HF and Jersey. At our club we are 100% committed to Tharparkar Indian dairy cows and bulls,” he asserts. Life membership of the club is Rs. 1 lakh later to which members are entitled to pay a nominal yearly fee. They get all the 40 products produced and sold by Vrindavan Tharparkar Desi Cow Club at special discounted price such as milk, ghee, butter, cow dung cakes and cosmetic products etc.

Origin
Tharparkar breed is native of Western Rajasthan preciously Jaipur-Jaisalmer and Kutch-Sindh region. “We brought pure Tharparkar cows and bulls in our farm from Barmer district, Rajasthan. We visited many villages in the district and it was quite a challenge to find pure Tharparkar cattle as the breed has lost its exclusivity due to cross breeding. However with umpteen efforts we could identify some cows and bulls. We went 3-4 times to Barmer district for getting the cows and bulls. Now the herd is grown and breeding is done within the farm through natural matting, artificial insemination and embryo transfer,” shares Mr. Bharekar. Presently there are 14 bulls and 200+ cows in the farm. Pedigree of every cattle is maintained meticulously using the computer software. “We document every minute detail such as medical history, milk yield, growth and fodder intake etc. We ensure there is no in-breeding. Every cattle in the farm is tagged with a special number.”

Unique Features
Tharparkar is supposed be the premium milking prowess Indian desi dairy breed like Sahiwal, Gir and Red Sindhi. In addition just like the Kankrej breed, the bulls of Tharparkar are renowned for its strength and power that makes it most suitable for farming activities. The breed is amazing in itself. It is gifted to survive the odds like extreme climatic conditions, fodder scarcity and disease resistant. “It has originated in Rajasthan, the desert region so it can survive high temperature easily and doesn’t fall sick much! Now as we have brought it in Pune we are sure the breed will improve certainly.”

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Milking
Milk of Tharparkar cows is supposed to be very tasty and packed with essential minerals and vitamins. The fat content is more than 5%. “In our farm produced milk the fat content is close to 5.5-5.7%. It has been tested at Government certified laboratories. It is the best in quality,” claims Mr. Bharekar. Commonly Tharparkar cow yields 3-4 litre milk/day but, “Cows in our farm yield 5-9 litre/day. Even some cows give 10 litre/day. It is so because we give a balanced diet to our entire herd. We feed nutrition rich fodder and provide relaxed surroundings. Except for the milking time (twice a day) the cows are never tied-up. It roams freely in the adequate open space and closed shed. Therefore the cows are happy and stress-free,” he insists. It is observed when the cow is always tied its milk has 67% stress level while when allowed to move freely the stress level in milk is only 10-12%! Higher stress level deteriorates the quality and quantity of the milk. Therefore it is mandatory to allow the cow and bull to move around the shed liberally.

Apart from free movement, light classical music or religious hymns are played during the milking time. “We strongly feel listening to religious hymns cows are more relaxed and yields higher quantity of milk,” he explains. In addition milking is done from only two teats and rest two teats are left for the calves irrespective if it is female or male calves. “We want to re-vive the breed and it can be done only when both female and male calves are healthy. We need both for refining the breed. To do so calves need adequate quantity of its mother’s milk.”

Milking is done manually because milking machine troubles the cows and pulls out all the milk leaving nothing for the calf. “As milking is done manually the hygiene conditions and measures are practiced stringently. Not only the keeper sterilizes his hands before milking but also the teat of the cows is cleaned with luke warm water,” he highlights.

On an average milking is done from 20-25 cows daily and the production is 300 liter/day. Milk collected is packed in half liter packs through a packaging machine and is delivered to members’ door step within one hour.

Fodder
“When we brought cows and bulls in our farm the health condition of the entire herd was not-good at all! With proper care and good feed it improved enormously. Also milk obtained from our Tharparkar cow has fat content more than 5.5%. It is because we give nutritious and balance diet to our entire herd. Partly the fodder is produced within the farm premises while rest is bought only from reliable sources,” he reveals the key behind the quality rich milk produced at the farm. The cattle feed is the mix of green fodder, dry fodder and concentrates. Supply of clean drinking water and rock salt is maintained 24 hours in the shed at its designated place enabling the cows to consume as required.

Fodder and concentrate is given twice a day. Green fodder constitutes 80% of the feed while dry fodder is 20%. It is given after milking. Green fodder includes DHN6 napier grass and maize. “We give fresh maize along with the corn because the corn has all the vital nutrients. After removing the corn, the left behind residue is only roughage which cannot fulfill the nutrient requirement of the cow. So we give the corn too along with the stalk and leaves of the maize plant. Quality of milk will be good only when cows eat good food!” says Mr. Bharekar. Dry fodder includes sorghum (jowar) and pearl millet ( bajra).

Concentrate is given twice a day before milking. Quantity fed is 2kg/cow each in morning and evening. It is made within the farm. Ingredients used are soyabean 10%, cotton seed cake 20%, maize husk 20%, wheat husk 20% and mineral mixture 10%. It is all mixed together and when fed to the cattle little water is added to soften the concentrate. “We take oiled cotton seed cake because the de-oiled cake will again be roughage and would not add any nutritional value to the cows,” he adds.

Cows are given a special diet post pregnancy. “We need to ensure the calcium content level in the cow’s body after delivery should not be reduced. Thereby we give luke warm jaggery water three times in a day to the cows for atleast one week from the delivery date. Also we feed wheat porridge for re-gaining the physical strength. Jaggery used is organically produced,” he shares.

Tharparkar- pic 4

Breeding
With the consistent efforts of four years Tharparkar herd is growing steadily at Vrindavan Tharparkar Desi Cow Club. Initially sourced from Barmer district, Rajasthan the cows and bulls have been multiplied gradually through natural matting as well as using the technology of artificial insemination and embryo transfer. “Tharparkar cows, native to India have a strong built. It has the potential to deliver 14-15 calves in its lifetime. In our farm we are expecting to cross this figure yet it is too early to comment as we have started rearing cows only four years back. We are never in hurry to inseminate or mate the female calf. We check its weight and height after 2.5 years then only it is mated! Patience is crucial for the health of the calf and new born. Usually in 2 years the calf gains 300-350 kg weight in our farm,” elucidates Mr. Bharekar. Weight at first mating should be minimum 250 kg. It needs to be fed with nutritious diet for good growth and development of the embryo.

In 200+ cows there are 100 female calves while the remaining are adult milking cows. Male calves are given to neighboring farmers for farming activities after its mother’s milk is stopped for that cycle. “We ensure the male calf gets his share of milk and attains good immune internal body system. We also feed it nicely before giving away because it can be used for breeding too and requires strength for carrying out various farming activities. Later paying the nominal charges farmers residing in and around the farm takes it away. However we do ensure the farmers taking the male calf would genuinely look after the calf,” he shares.

People working at the farm are trained for delivery. “As the cows move around freely in the farm premises delivery is hassle free but sometimes the position of the calf during the delivery time is not correct. So our boys assist the cow by correcting the calf position. They are trained to do so,” he adds. Initial 4-5 days calf is allowed to have its mother milk fully. “Almost after 5th day from delivery date the milk quantity increases and then we start milking the cow from its two teats only.”

Commercial Farm
Selection of pure breeding stock and passion to look after the herd are two requisites for the success of commercial dairy farm according to Mr. Bharekar. “Tharparkar cows need pampering and love just like children. If cow is left unattended and treated as milk producing machine then the returns will be always poor! Farmers need to be passionate about cows and must take care of it well without worrying about the quantity of milk yield because the quality is superior that will fetch premium price,” he advices.

All the products developed and sold by the club are gaining popularity for its chemical-free ingredients. However most in demand is ghee. It is sold under the brand name ‘Bilona’. “As the fat content is more than 5.5% in the milk, the ghee made from it is of supreme quality. 25 liter milk is used for making one kg ghee. It is prepared in traditional manner ensuring the medicinal properties are intact till it reaches consumers’ plate!” he affirms. In time to come Mr. Bharekar wants to increase the herd size and develop the breed as much as possible.

India is gifted with desi breed of cows. “Dairy farmers and scientists from foreign countries have taken our Indian native milking cows and are doing wonders! Why we should give away our treasure to them and adopt their breeds? We have to invest our resources in the original breeds of India. It is our duty to safeguard and nurture what belongs to us! If we stick to our dairy breeds and rear them with complete sincerity then farmers of our country will always prosper and attain the wealth immensely!” signs off Mr. Bharekar.

Contact details-
Vrindavan Tharparkar Desi Cow Club
Gate No. 1311, Khatpewadi road, Off Paud road, Bhukum, Pune – 412115, Maharashtra, India
Mobile: 09860799526
Email: info@vtcc.in
Web: https://vtcc.in/

Sanjay Bhalla – passion driven dairy farmer rears gir cows exclusively

Insists on feeding dairy cattle with farm-grown organic fodder and rearing in most natural way

“Horticulture and dairy farming are inter-related. It is mandatory to grow fodder using natural farming inputs and feed it to the dairy cattle. It is not only about reducing the cost but more significant for quality. When the cows and bulls are fed with good food, the nutritive value of milk, dung and urine is excellent. Consequently health of human, animals and soil improve considerably,” says Mr. Sanjay Bhalla, a passion driven dairy farmer. He started an exclusive gir cow dairy farm ‘The Way We Were’ in 2013 with just two cows sourced from Rajasthan. Today the herd size is 150 cattle including adult cows, bulls and the rest are calves. “Feed and health management of our cattle is maintained 100% natural where we do not depend on outside purchase. Our farming practices in dairy and horticulture are consciously ‘The Way We Were’ a century ago!” The farm is located on the outskirts of Noida, Uttar Pradesh.
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“Gir cow milk is rich in A2 protein. “By consuming milk and ghee of this Indian indigenous breed my health improved remarkably. There was a positive change in my health and I was convinced that gir cow has some solution within it for every disease man faces. So I got connected with this breed and started rearing it in the farm,” Mr. Bhalla describes the drive to establish farm rearing only gir cattle. In the farm there are 45 adults (cow+bull) and rest are the calves. Almost 50% of the herd is in-born in the farm.

‘The Way We Were’ farm spreads in 30 acre. Seasonal vegetables, milk and milk based value added products are sold at the farm to the end-consumer directly residing at the distance of 3-45 km. Also calves are sold to other dairy farmers. On an average there are 7-8 calves born every month. There had been no mortality in the farm because feeding, rearing and breeding are 100% natural.
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Feed Management
Fodder grown easily and locally must be given to the cattle with only condition that no chemical based farming inputs should be used in the entire cultivation period. “Balanced and nutrition rich fodder can make wonders. It has been proved in our farm. We bought one barren cow from Rajasthan and it has delivered thrice in our farm. Similarly we got two barren cows from Mathura, Uttar Pradesh and they are high-yielding cows. These wonders have happened without any medical intervention. It is all because of our feed management,” shares Mr. Bhalla with pride yet humbly.

Speaking about the fodder given to gir cows and bulls he says, “We give 8-10 kg jowar/bajra green fodder, 2.5-3 kg de-oiled cakes of mustard or sesame and 2.5 kg hay per meal to each animal. We give two meals per day to each cow. We do not give corn as we feel it doesn’t help the cattle much. We also give lot of herbs like ashwagandha, jivanti, shitawari, lemon grass, basil and all seasonal vegetables.” Oil from seeds is extracted at the farm it-self and the cakes are given to the cattle. “We try to replace hay (dry fodder) with greens. 1 kg hay is replaced with 4-5 kg greens.”
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The way herbs are important for human body growth and well being, similarly herbs in the fodder ensure good health of the cows and bulls too. Different concoctions can be made from the herbs and given to the cattle on daily basis. “We grind the herbs and mix it with unrefined raw sugar to make it appetizing for the cows. Approximately 20-40 grams is fed to the cow. We give the herbs daily in some or the other form to boost their digestive system and immunity,” he adds.

Occasionally cattle at the farm are also fed with feast such as sweet balls (ladoo) made up of barley. In addition mustard oil and turmeric is also given to the entire herd. “Cattle will not take the mustard oil alone as it has the pungent aroma so we mix it with lot of jaggery and turmeric powder. It is given to all the animals except for those cows that are pregnant. Mustard oil improves energy and turmeric powder being natural antioxidant safeguards from common flue, cold, cough and fever etc. These additions in the feed are the preventive measures we practice in our farm. We keep the feed interesting just as we human likes more food varieties in our plate,” highlights Mr. Bhalla. In addition, after preparing butter the residue ‘buttermilk’ is given back to the cattle. It drinks buttermilk instead of water. “Buttermilk is also good source of protein for them. It is given twice/thrice in a week.” Apart from these regular feed common for all the cattle, the cows about to deliver calf are kept on special diet for 10 days before the delivery and 20 days post delivery period. It contains jaggery, ajwain (bishop’s weed or carom), porridge etc.

Health Management
Cattles are reared in most natural way at Mr. Bhalla’s farm. The animals are never immunized with modern medications yet the herd is healthy because, “In my opinion repeated immunization weakens the animal. Pre-independence in India there was no vet involvement in the dairy farms nevertheless the cow population was more than human population. We must trust our traditional knowledge and follow it meticulously. Following the same we are extremely particular about the prevention management,” he states. Cattles are given massage with mustard oil, sesame oil and aloe vera gel. Every evening diluted essential oil such as tea tree, lavender or neem is sprayed on them. It keeps the harmful bacteria and virus away and the herd has natural protective cover.

Gir cattle are shy of water. They are not fond of water at all so no bathing. During winters it is only dry brushing while in summers the cattle are made wet with the water spray gun. Permitting the cattle to be stress free is another important aspect of health management. To do so at the farm entire herd is allowed to roam around freely from 8 AM to 4.30 pm. They are not tied-up and free to eat, drink and relax as it wants. Milking is done manually twice a day. “We feel milking machine causes too much stress while manual milking is more personalized,” he adds.

Breeding
At the farm, ‘The Way We Were’ natural mating is preferred over artificial insemination. “All our activities in the farm are in alliance with the nature. Artificial insemination is not at all in the favour of health of the cows. Also the technology of embryo transfer should be discouraged. Cow is a living being so why stress it to produce more calves and milk? Allow it to live naturally and take care of it selflessly, certainly it would return back in some way or the other,” avers Mr. Bhalla. Behaviour of cows and bulls is observed for 2-3 days and then they are allowed to mate naturally. Detailed history of all the animals is maintained. It is ensured that no intra-breeding takes place. “We have two farms now so we keep shifting the bulls as needed.” One cow conceives 10-12 times in a year. “We get one calf from each cow almost every year.”

Post delivery the calf is allowed to be near its’ mother as long as it wants and there is no human interference. “We let the calf feed well on its’ mother milk too because that is most important for developing the natural immunity in the growing baby of the cow. It is long term sustenance for the calf,” he affirms. Later once the calf is 12-18 months old it is sold to other dairy farmers if there are any buyers. “We recommend our buyers to buy the calves instead of adult cow because gir cattle require lot of personal touch. So when the calves are purchased it gives lot of time to develop the bond and it adjusts to new environment. We usually advise the buyers to take four female calves and one male calf. All grow together and bond well. Subsequently the herd size grows slowly and gradually,” he shares.

Bulls in the farm
Dairy farm cannot be sustainable without a bull! Mostly dairy farmers and experts are focused on cows but, “I feel bull is equally important for any farm. As mentioned horticulture and dairy are inter-dependent so bull is needed for breeding in dairy while for ploughing in horticulture farm. Soil health improves amazing with bull ploughing. When the bull walks gently in the field it ploughs the farm till six inches deep. Furthermore, it’s dung and urine dropping while ploughing becomes natural food for the microbes present in the soil. This process boosts the population of microbes and consequently the soil fertility is enhanced,” he maintains.

Mr. Bhalla is the first generation dairy farmer. He travels once in 15 days to interiors of the villages in and around Delhi and interacts with the most senior person in the village. “These are the people who are having maximum ground knowledge. It is all realistic solutions and practices that can never be compared with theoretical text or reports generated in the air-conditioned research centers and laboratories. Also my team of 32 farmers who are assisting in managing the farm is quite resourceful. We need to respect and trust our heritage more than getting allured with practices of foreign countries. Even the government needs to understand it and there should be more dissemination of information from them on Indian traditional agricultural practices. Our Indian indigenous cattle breeds are magical and its’ products are miraculous. Adopt what is yours with 100% belief and get amazed with the results!!” he signs off.

Contact details:
The Way We Were Farm
Mr. Sanjya Bhalla
Farm address: C- 143, Hosiery Complex, Phase 2 Extension, Noida-201305
Phone: 0120 – 4570580
E-mail: sanjay_bhalla@silverspa.com

Amrutha Dairy Farm – IT professional turns to dairy farming

IT professional turns into dairy consultant

Amrutha Dairy Farm is located on the outskirts of Bangalore, Karnataka. It was started in 2010 as commercial dairy farm engaged in producing and supplying milk. Later the focus of operations shifted to dairy consulting and rearing calves.

“I had always loved the nature. I wanted to do something that is more practical and touches people more than the virtual life as it used to be in corporate where I was working. While looking for some avenues I found dairy farming interesting,” he says was the drive behind venturing into dairy business. “We can manage and operate a dairy farm in small area to start with and later on it can be expanded to any limit. It was apt for me in all ways.”

Mr. Santhosh D Singh, Founder Amrutha Dairy Farm

Mid 2009, Mr. Santhosh quit IT world and became an entrepreneur. He took full term training at National Dairy Research Institute (NDRI) to learn the intricacies of running a commercial dairy farm. Training gave him the confidence to rear the cows and manage the farm independently.

Farm specializes in rearing and breeding calves. “We buy 3 months old calves, raise them for one and half year and then sell to commercial dairy farms in South India. We have a batch of 60-120 calves that are sold to new farms after 1.5 years,” he informs. Young calves are bought from Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. Speaking about the precautions and care taken specifically during transit, “We are extremely careful about the health and look-after of 3 months old calves in the transit. We prefer nearest possible locations for sourcing these calves no matter even if we have to spend few thousand rupees extra!” he says. The base and sides of the transportation vehicle are completely cushioned with cloth and corrugated boxes to ensure absolute no hurt to the calves. Two farm personnel travel in the vehicle.

Pure HF calves at Amrutha Dairy Farm

Mr. Santhosh also conducts training sessions on dairy farming. So far he has the credit of 75 plus workshops held in more than 12 states of the country. “Besides, as we gained experience we began helping other budding dairy entrepreneurs through our training workshops,” he shares. Training workshops were conducted across the country. “So far we have completed 75 plus workshops.”

Networking with participants opened the doors for dairy consultancy. “They asked us to set up the dairy farm for them. In this way consultancy business commenced. We work pan India. We undertake projects for proprietor based farms from 30 to 100 cows,” he adds. “In addition we are providing local support to companies from UK and Holland to set up their dairy processing unit in Bangalore. Very soon it shall be operational and their products will be launched in the market.”

He recommends balanced diet for the cattle that comprises of concentrates, mineral supplements, dry and green fodder. When asked concentrates and supplements are given to improve the milk yield that adulterates the milk quality, he explains, “Concentrates and supplements are different from hormones! Cattle should get complete nutrition that is not possible only through fodder. Therefore to fulfill those deficiencies concentrates and supplements are given. Further these are approved by Karnataka Milk Federation. Hormones given to induce more milk are certainly unhealthy that makes the cattle’s health miserable. It also reduces life span of the animal drastically. Besides beer waste must also be avoided as it is contaminated and leads to sever diseases.” Health of the animals is prime focus at Amrutha Dairy Farm. “We don’t play around with animals’ health for our advantage!”

Behaviour and characteristics of cow breeds differ from one another. Hence it needs to be raised accordingly. By and large these days’ dairy farmers have jersey or holstein friesians cows. “Farmers raise these hybrid breeds like desi cows. It is wrong! What happens is, they take them out for grazing in the morning and return back in the evening. In this practice, jersey and holstein friesians breed cows lose more energy than what they gain. Instead it must be fed balanced diet in-house,” he elucidates.

Speaking of breed suitable for commercial dairy farm, Mr. Santhosh says, “Undoubtedly Indian breeds are the best breeds. Desi cow milk is sold at Rs. 60 plus per liter. Other benefits are desi cow urine is sold at Rs. 100 plus per liter and cow dung has medicinal properties that can be encashed by processing it into manure. This breed can be selected for commercial projects too provided the right resources and knowledge is available. However, with less resources and more automation HF or jersey cow is recommended. Economically desi as well as hybrid dairy farms are at par.”

Milking depends on lactation period. One lactation cycle is of 9 months. “It is inappropriate to quote milking per day because during nine months lactation in the beginning milk yield is more while it reduces slowly till the last month. It could be 25 liters per day for first three months and reduce to 4-5 liter per day in the 9 months. Secondly it depends on the environmental conditions too. In South India, Hybrid varieties yield 4500 liters per lactation where as in states like Punjab the milk yield is 5000-6000 liters per lactation,” he asserts. Hybrid breeds costs Rs. 55,000-65,000/cow and desi breeds are sold at Rs. 35,000-50,000/cow.

The training sessions conducted by Mr. Santhosh provides a complete know-how of commercial dairy farming practices. “I have derived the program curriculum based on my experience and learning. It is summed in five sections namely animals’ life cycle, animal nutrition, challenges in dairy business, infrastructure requirement and value addition. It is a quick preview,” he shares. “My training session helps people to take the right decision whether to stay with the idea of dairy farming or stay away from it as they are briefed on every aspect of the business.”

Prospects of dairy farming in India are bright. “New age entrepreneurs are doing good work. They are working independent of cooperative model. Time has come existing dairy farmers need to be confident of their products and sell it directly instead of selling to dairy cooperatives. Further youth are showing lot of interest in being dairy entrepreneurs. I suggest them they must initially work for some established organization to learn the business operations and get the required exposure. It shall be followed by the ground work and training from recognized institute like NDRI. Next, set up small business in parallel to the job. Once they are confident and have all the resources they can quit job and become full time entrepreneur. Surely the preliminary excitement must be controlled. It is important to learn and invest then success is guaranteed,” he signs off.

Contact details-
Amrutha Dairy Farms
Halenahalli, Madhure Hobli, Doddabalapur TQ, Bangalore(Rural), Karnataka.
Mobile No. : +91 98451 90600
E.Mail : santhoshdsingh@gmail.com
Web: http://amruthadairyfarms.in/

Gadodia brothers – promotes cow milk and rural entrepreneurship

Ex-corporate banker promotes cow milk and rural entrepreneurship

Sahaj Dairy Farm was set up in 2012 at Jaipur. It spreads across 1.72 hectare dairy farm in Lisaria village, 70km from Jaipur. Farm popularizes cow milk as it is healthier and nutritious milk than the buffalo milk. It gives access to pure and fresh cow milk to citizens because milk is a very important component of Indian diet. Besides company founder also wanted to prove that cow farming was a profitable venture and focused to make rural India prosper.

Vigyan_2015

Farm was established by Mr. Vigyan Gadodia under his company Sahaj Inclusive Opportunities (India). He left his corporate job as a corporate banker to become a fulltime rural entrepreneur in 2006. Initially he experimented with multiple rural business models promoting grass root entrepreneurship, organic farming to improve primary education. Finally in 2012-13, he consolidated his learning and set up the dairy farm. “Our key focus is to improve farmer income through a better planned (and scaled) dairy farming operation at farmer level, and create clean milk system to produce the best quality milk in the world in India,” he says.

His brother, Mr. Vidhyut Gododia too joined the dairy business in 2014. Mr. Vidhyut takes the responsibility to find innovative socially relevant models for direct to home marketing and brand building for ‘Sahaj – As a quality food producer’.

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SIDBI is equity partner of Sahaj Dairy Farm. There are 50 milking cows and 100 calves. 500 liters is the milk production/day. Milk is supplied at the door steps of 250 customers in Jaipur. Milk is tested and certified. It holds FSSAI license.

Good management practices are the key to the business profitability. It includes efficient cow management. Mr. Vidhyut shares, “At our farm cows are never tied instead are allowed to roam freely, eat and drink as required. Consequently they are less aggressive and easy to manage. For milking they are brought in the milking parlor as per the schedule.”

Protein rich diet is fed to the cows. Azolla, a fern rich in omega 3 is grown within the farm premises. It is feed to the cows along with other fodder and silage. Mr. Vigyan recommends azolla as it is cost effective when compared with other cattle feed alternatives. Further most important azolla boosts cow’s health and milk quality.

One of an imperative change that is taking place in the vicinity of the farm is that looking at the conviction of Gadodia brothers in dairy farming rural Indians have regained their faith in farming! Many farmers in around 25 villages are now engaged in rearing cows.

Gododia brothers move one step higher! They are successful in stimulating the villagers to rear cows and now they do not want the local dairy farmers to take the stress for selling the cow milk. Therefore a milk processing plant has been set up by Sahaj Inclusive Opportunities (India). “We shall buy milk from these farmers that will be processed at our plant to produce milk based value added products such as curd, buttermilk, ice-cream etc. We have promised the farmers’ to pay them premium price for the milk produced from indigenous cows,” says Mr. Vigyan.

dairy farm lisaria signage

The farmers are provided necessary training and support for rearing cows as well. “We are giving the technology share to these farmers that they can implement at their respective farms and reap benefits,” adds Mr. Vidhyut.

In time to come Gododia brothers are focused to work towards realizing their vision to empower rural India with the mission to connect rural India.

Contact details-
Sahaj Inclusive Opportunities (India) Pvt. Ltd.
Head Office – B-81, Parshwanath Marg, Subhash Nagar, Jaipur, Rajasthan, 302001 India
Farm Address – Sahaj Dairy Farms, Village Lisaria, Tehsil – Srimadhopur, District – Sikar, Rajasthan
Phone: 0141 402 6094, 2280704
Email: info@sahajagrofarm.com
Web: http://www.sahajagrofarm.com/

Summeer Bajpai – finance professional takes up dairy farming

Finance professional takes up dairy farming to supply pure natural cow milk in Gurgaon

“I wanted to give pure cow milk to my toddler but finding pure milk was difficult! I agreed to pay the milkman the price he asked for, but he could not keep his promise to give me the quality I asked for! Like my family many in Gurgaon might be on a lookout for pure cow milk. With this thought and immense support from my father Mr. Vishwanath Bajpai, who has over 30 years technical experience in dairy sector, laid the foundation of Good Earth Farms,” shares Mr. Summeer Bajpai, Director.

Good Earth Farms produces and supplies natural pure cow milk. It is sold under the brand name Wise Cow at Rs. 70/litre directly to the consumers. The company established its farms in early 2014 but the retail dairy operations commenced in Oct 2014. It is located at Gurgaon.

(R-L) Ms. Shilpa, Mr. Summeer, Mr. Vishwanath Bajpai

Exclusively the cow milk, Mr. Bajpai clarifies, “In ayurveda pure cow milk is considered as balanced food and apt for all age groups right from infant to seniors. We wanted to supply pure milk for the whole family we opted for cow milk as buffalo milk has got very high fat content and does not have same properties as cow milk required for all round development.”

Presently there are 30 cows at the farm reared in traditional ways. The cows are of HF Cross breed variety, “The unique feature is that the milk from this breed is quality rich having all the properties of ideal cow milk. The milk yield is slightly higher than desi cow. It is only 15-20 litres/cow,” Mr. Bajpai elucidates. Pure HF breed yields 30-50litres/cow but the milk quality is below the standards that are required at Good Earth Farms. “Our focus is to produce and supply pure high quality milk. I personally go for sourcing the cows. We actually taste the milk of the cow before finalizing it for our farm,” he adds.

IMG_1333

When asked about measures taken to ensure that the milk supplied is pure and healthy, Mr. Bajpai promptly replies, “Our professional & technical background assures the customers that the milk is pure with no adulteration. We do not process the milk in terms of adding any free fat or extracting the fat. We supply only one cow milk variety directly to the consumers without tampering with the milk in any way.”

Milking is done very hygienically only through imported milking equipment. Pre & post milking international practices are followed to disinfect the cow udders and the entire milking zone. At the farm, oxytocin and other hormones are never used before milking to contract the udder for procuring more milk. Immediately after milking, milk is kept in cold chain till it reaches the consumer doorsteps.

Milk is packed in 1 litre glass bottles. “It is packed in the morning and delivered to the consumers latest by 10 AM. The left over milk if it comes back is discarded from retail supply,” he asserts. Milk is delivered by company’s own delivery system, “We don’t outsource milk delivery to anyone! Our well insulated delivery vans and logistics ensure milk reaches customers in best condition. Entire summer we hardly got any complaint of sour milk as our cold chains are meticulously operated,” he claims.

IMG_1317

Milk of sick cow is discarded as recommended by experts. Three feed variants are fed to the herd namely dry fodder, cattlefeed and green fodder. “We grow pesticide free green fodder in our own farmland as it is very important for milk quality,” he adds.

The main challenge faced in dairy farming is right way of herd management. “There is a big disconnect between the training content and what actually happening on the field. Self learning is more apt!” opines Mr. Bajpai. “Secondly people were unable to accept our milk at Rs. 70/litre initially and not able to relate it to quality. It was challenging to convince them that the price is higher because of higher input costs required to maintain milk quality till their doorstep.”

Company also is engaged in value addition and breeding. “Approx 50-100litre milk is used for making desi cow ghee solely for our customers,” he shares. Cow breeding is not done for sale but instead for increasing the herd size within the farm.

To further strengthen its market position, the founding family has partnered with Mr. Yogesh Girdhar of the Optus Group, a real estate conglomerate with interests in Hospitality & Group Housing. Mr Yogesh brings in capabilities in retail marketing and is well-versed with high value consumer markets in NCR. In time to come Good Earth Farms plans to expand the herd size to 200 cows and add some more value added products like sweets, khova, curd and butter milk.

Mr. Vishwanath Bajpai manages farm and plant operations while the couple Mr. Summeer and Ms. Shilpa handle milk marketing and logistics. Mr. Summeer Bajpai did his B.Tech from AMU, Aligarh and MBA (Finance & Systems) from MDI Gurgaon. He was an investment banker for 12 years before venturing in the dairy business. He signs off with advice, “Dairy business is not as easy as it sounds. It requires lot of learning and hardship. It is vital that one should either have a farm in village or have a strong technical dairy background to be successful in dairy segment.”

Contact details-
Good Earth Farms
VPO Khor, Tehsil Pataudi, Gurgaon 122414
Phone: +91 98180 10888
Email: care@goodearthfarms.co.in
Website: http://thewisecow.com/

Dairy Farming

dairyMr Raghupati Venkatraman based at Kumbakonam, Tamil Nadu interacted with members at webinar- the online forum on the subject dairy farming. Dairy farming is an important subsidiary income for farmers and agriculturists. “In 2008-9 Indian milk industry produced 1 million metric ton milk and is expected to produce 180 million by 2020.  Almost 2.5% to 5% is estimated targeted growth. It implies tremendous scope in dairy farming industry”, informed Mr. Raghupati.

Initially one can start with 4 to 5 milking animals. Cost of one animal is between Rs. 1.5 to 2 lacs. More than that is not advisable for new venture.

Important aspects to be considered when buying cows – consult veterinary doctor before purchasing, instead of local information. Cows already having 2 to 3 lactation or yield are not preferred. Pricing should be as per market rates with vet’s advice. Skin of the animal should be soft and smooth, not a hard touch. Number of teeth is crucial to consider. Horns must be inverted, not bended outwardly. Per day milking should be cost rewarding as milk production and pricing is interrelated. “Darbarkar,Sindh or jersey cows are advisable to purchase”, shares Mr. Raghupati.

Daily milk production could vary between 7-10 liters with breakup of 5-4.5 liters in the morning while 4-3.5 liters in evening. Dairy animals might take time to acclimatize to the new surroundings and atmosphere because of which lactation would be less.  After two to four days it comes to normal.

Complete presentation available at – http://bit.ly/15z88MZ

Source : Agriculture & Industry Survey

Ennar Business Consultants

Trivandrum, Kerala based agribusiness consultants. Also provides ISO 22000 certification

Sunil Kumar M
Sunil Kumar M

Ennar Business Consultants provides business solutions right from conceptualization of business ideas to project implementation in agriculture segment. They are also the authorized representatives of ISO certifying bodies ACM and Absolute Quality certifications for South India. Company was established in 2009 at Trivandrum, Kerala by Ms. Reeja, Ms. Neena R Nair and Mr. Vasudevan. It clocks an annual turnover of Rs. 60 lakhs.

ISO 22000 is food safety management system that is required for any organization involved in processing and producing food items. Mr. Sunil Kumar.M, GM Operations & ISO 9001/ISO 22000 Lead Auditor at Ennar Business Consultants says “ISO 22000 certification is for demonstrating the ability of the organization to produce safe food. Now it is becoming mandatory as per FSSA to take ISO 22000 for companies in food chain.”

ISO Certifications : ISO 9001:2008 focuses on overall quality of the organization and exhibits its ability to produce quality products and services hence any organization in any industry can take it up. However, as agribusiness companies are related to food ISO 22000 is applicable. Mr. Sunil Kumar further explains, “ISO 22000 reveals the food produced by the company is safe to eat. ISO 14000 demonstrates that the company is not doing anything which harms the environment.”

ISO Certification Procedure : Mr. Sunil Kumar elaborates on ISO certification procedure-
• Executing GAP analysis of the existing system and ISO standards
• Training employees on ISO awareness and food safety training if the company needs ISO 22000
• Documentation of all the manuals and procedures
• Generating the necessary records and implementing the system
• Internal auditor training
• Internal auditing to check for deviation and corrective measures taken
• Management review meeting to be conducted to ensure that the system is in order and then apply for certification from an authenticated certifying body.

Problems : ISO certification is becoming an aid to enhance sales of products. Mr. Sunil Kumar says, “many organizations are going behind cheaper certifications and consultancy services just to have ISO certification for marketing purposes. If the organization has to achieve the benefits of ISO certification they should focus more on system implementation than certification.” It is crucial to select right certification body and consultants.

Future Plans : Company aims at becoming the leading consultants in India as well as abroad to provide complete consultancy to any entrepreneur planning to setup agribusiness organization.

Mr. Sunil Kumar is a dairy technologist with post graduate diploma in Rural Development Management from IRMA with 20 years of experience in dairy and food sector. He has worked in companies like Milma and Dairy Development Department of Kerala Government and in a Dairy and Juice company in Saudi Arabia. He is ISO 9001 and 22000 Lead Auditor and consultant for past three years.

Our Correspondent

For more information, please contact –
Ennar Business Consultants
B6, Suffis Arcade, Press Club Road, Oottukuzhy Jn. Trivandrum – 695011
Phone: 0471 6535354  Mob: 077360 66651/54/ Email: sunilmunnithan@gmail.com
Web: http://www.ennarbiz.com/

Source : Agriculture & Industry Survey

Dairy Farm

With increased use of technology and introduction of new dairy products, more and more entrepreneurs are entering the dairy industry. We spoke to two diverse Indian dairy farms – Bathinda, Punjab based Punjab Dairy Farms, and Bangalore based Om Dairy and Live Stock Farm – to learn more about how they manage their day-to-day operations. They also share their experiences and views of the dairy business in India

Punjab Dairy Farm
Punjab Dairy Farm was established in 2010. Mr. Munish Goyal and Mr. Sanjeev Bansal are the founders of the company. “Our main goal was to fulfill the consumer’s demand with fresh and natural milk produced by the best breeds of cows, Holiston Frisson. I also strongly believe that the milk produced in rural areas shall be consumed in that particular region instead of transiting to metro cities by using the preservation methods. This is for the first time that a dairy farmer is directly getting into retail and offering fresh cow’s milk but not pasteurized milk to its consumer at their door steps,” says Mr. Goyal.

Initial Research
The company’s research focused on organically produced milk. “During our research we found that there was a huge gap between demand and production. Thereafter the biggest research was on the animal’s breed, their purity, and their availability,” informs Mr. Goyal.
They faced lot of challenges due to lack of good guidance, lack of educated and experienced veterinary doctors, poor infrastructure facility, and also green fodder for animals.

Procurement of Milk
The company produces milk on its own. “We own 900+ cattle. As far as raw material ingredients are concerned, everything comes from our in-house production and management, starting from feed mill till growing of green fodder,” says Mr. Goyal.

Quality Parameters
Mr. Goyal speaks about the speciality of their milk:
· Dairy Farm : With increased use of technology and introduction of new dairy products, more and more entrepreneurs are entering the dairy industry. We spoke to two diverse Indian dairy farms – Bathinda, Punjab based Punjab Dairy Farms, and Bangalore based Om Dairy and Live Stock Farm – to learn more about how they manage their day-to-day operations. They also share their experiences and views of the dairy business in India.
Oxytocin free: Oxytocin injection is generally used to boost milk production in animals, which affects the health and disturbs our hormones system.
· Mastitis-free: Mastitis is a disease generally found in milking animals. When the animals are afflicted by this disease, the milk should not be obtained, as the infected milk cannot be consumed. “We take care of it before obtaining the milk from an animal,” says Mr. Goyal.

· Fully Equipped & Modern Technology: The company uses European milking parlor that suctions the milk from large number of cows in very short span of time. It is the easiest method to get the milk suctioned from animals, and this avoids human touch and maintains the hygiene. Further the suctioned milk from cows is passed to bulk milk chiller by an automatic means. BMC maintains the required temperature for natural preserving of milk i.e. 4 degree celsius. This is helpful to keep the natural taste of the milk alive for an end-consumer. Automatic self-cleaning mode/system in-built feature of the parlor after the milking takes place and the whole suctioning and supplying system gets cleaned in an automatic manner with help of in-built feature of the parlor which gives an appropriate and prefect cleaning to the system via giving it 5 rounds of hot water, normal water and specially designed detergents.

The stored milk in the BMC gets further transit to milk supply van, which is fully equipped with features like insulated milk storage tank which retains the same temperature of the milk and digital milk releasing system on the van will deliver the milk quantity as per requirements of the consumer. This avoids cash exchange and pilferage and it’s a free delivery digitally controlled as an ATM machine.

Competition
When asked about competition, Mr. Goyal says, “As of now that there is no such competition, as no one supplies farm fresh milk at the consumer’s doorstep with such ultra modern technology. Our only competition is local vendors who sell milk. We usually produce 10000 liters in a day and sell 100% of the quantity to direct consumer.”

He adds, “We know it is a little difficult to win the confidence of the consumer, but here we strongly believe in the quality measures, and will keep maintaining this with honesty and dedication to achieve the cause.”

Market Share
The company sells milk only in Punjab. “The prospects of growth are very good if it starts working on Israel’s format. Haryana is doing well by adopting a similar format,” says Mr. Goyal. In future the company is planning to manufacture dairy products like curd, butter milk, and cheese. Punjab Dairy took technological consultancy for the Delaval.

Major Challenges
Mr. Goyal maintains the initial phase of setting up the dairy farm with financial constraints was challenging for the company. “It was very tough to establish a large dairy farm in one go with financial burden and losses during the establishment and then to recover it for running this further. Deep pocket was involved to cope with this. Finally now it is smooth and well functional,” he says. Mr. Goyal is a graduate and a special degree holder from the Punjab Dairy Development and Research Center.

For more information, contact : Mr. Munish Kumar, Co-owner  Punjab Dairy Farms,  Ph : 09888420000/ 0172-5013630 Email: ajay.kumar@tycoongroup.in / ajaykumar.visionary@gmail.com

Om Dairy & Live Stock Farm
Om Dairy & Live Stock Farm was set up in 2009. Mr. Ravishankar Mahdev and Mr. Yogish are the founders of the company. “I have grown up in a farm and have a lot of interest in animal husbandry and this interest has motivated me to get into commercial dairy farming. I set up the dairy farm with my friend Mr. Yogish, who is very passionate about animals and had started a dairy farm in a very small scale. We both have joined together to establish a fully functional commercial dairy farm. Before venturing 100%, I took my friend Mr. Yogish to many farms across Bangalore and South Karnataka to get the basic info about the present day dairy farms,” says Mr. Mahdev. He has done B.Sc.

Best Breeds of Cow
Mr. Mahdev maintains it is easy to maintain desi breeds of cows but have low productivity. “It is always easy to maintain desi breeds like Malnad Gidda, Hallikar, and Jersy to name a few as they have better immunity compared to crossbred HF cows, but the milk yield of desi cows is very poor compared to crossbred HF cows,” he says, adding, “Crossbred jersy or HF cows are best suited for Indian condition as they have well adapted to the local conditions.”

He further informs, “Desi cows will give about 5-7 liters of milk per day. To achieve good quantity and quality of milk, one need to understand the basics of dairying such as, proper housing and comfort for the animal, adequate water to be available, energy and protein rich fodder supported by a good quality Concentrate feed is a must for any animal to produce high quality and quantity of milk. Apart from these, highest care has to be taken for mastitis control which is very crucial for any dairy farm to progress as any cow infected with mastitis will not only loose one or other teat but the quality of milk will come down drastically. You must allow enough time for the animal to ruminate so that maximum percentage of food intake can be converted to milk.”

Advising on factors to take into consideration while buying cows and buffalos, Mr. Mahdev says, “When you buy a cow or buffalo, the basic thing to do is to check the breed of the animal and the stage of lactation. It is always advisable to take a vet along while purchasing a cow or buffalo as he can check the animal completely for proper functioning of teats (udder inspection is a must if it is milking cow) hoof checking, over all body score. Generally the farm owners depend on brokers who get cows or buffalos as per the price range and breed.  As these animals are sold in any shop or showroom, everyone has to believe that a pregnant cow will give birth to healthy female calf and will give at least 20 lpd of milk.”

Major Challenges
According to Mr. Mahdev the major challenges in this industry are labor and fodder. “Karnataka has not received enough rains in this season which results in less fodder availability as well as very less ground water. Apart from these two, I don’t think, there are many problems in this field. Every dairy farmer should have enough land to cultivate his own fodder ably supported by honest workers who are keen on learning the art of animal care as well as time management,” he says.

Use of Technology
Technology has made work simple and increased productivity in dairy industry admits Mr. Mahdev. “For example, milking machines and milking parlors have been successfully installed in many dairy farms wherein every animal is milked by the machine wherein highest possible quality of milk is being collected. Apart from this, many farms have chaff cutters for chaffing the forage (fodder for animals) which results in zero wastage of fodder which will increase your profits. In conventional method of feeding the animals with fresh cut forage will result in at least 35-40% wastage of fodder,” he says.

Future Growth Potential
Speaking about the changes he foresees in the next five years taking place in Indian dairy industry which would be playing key role in attaining growth and prosperity, Mr. Mahdev says, “I feel the major change what we can see in the next five years is that, there will be many new players in this segment and good news is that, most of them will be well educated. Once educated people take active part in dairy industry, we can definitely see major changes in terms of genetics of the cows by import of high quality semen or livestock and reproducing off springs which can give at least 30-35 liters of milk/day on an average and the cost of automated milking parlors will come down as there will be more demand for such machines.

Even we can expect introduction of software in dairy segment wherein each and every cow will have an ear tag (at present ear tag is being used in all dairy farms for numbering purpose only) with a chip which will give the accurate milk yield of the cow and any problem with udder such as mastitis and the required quantity of feed as per the yield of the cow.”

He is positive about the future growth potential of the dairy industry. “I feel there is huge potential as far as dairy is concerned as milk is cheapest form of calcium available today. Anybody and everybody like milk. Only problem with the industry in our state is that the KMF is not very aggressive is marketing when compared to MNC’s as they are happy selling milk in the form of milk only and now they have started converting milk into a few byproducts which they should have done earlier. Unless the milk is converted into many dairy products, their earnings will not go up which results in fewer prices to the dairy farmers who supply milk to KMF through their societies. Hope they give more support and encouragement to the dairy industry in our state which will prompt many to enter this field in future,” he adds.

He further advices, “First thing is that anyone who wants to enter dairy farming should have love and care for animals. Dairy farming is very interesting but very challenging also.

Before starting a dairy farm, please visit as many farms as possible to see the management and routine practices. Grow fodder first and get the cows next. Getting cows is the easiest of the entire process of dairy farming since if you pay about Rs. 60-70 K you can buy cows but fodder is not available in the market. My sincere advice to newcomers is that, first to have adequate stock of fodder and then bring the livestock. Plan a well-ventilated housing for animals with support staff for day to day maintenance of the animals.”

For more information, contact :
Mr. Ravishankar Mahdev, Partner,
Om Dairy & Live Stock Farm, M/s Ayush Associates, #114, 1st Floor, Pantharapalya, Nayandanahalli, Off. Mysore Road, BANGLAORE-560 039 Mob: 9880741434  Email: ayush1ravi@yahoo.co.in / omdairylivestockfarm@gmail.com

Our Correspondent

Source : Agriculture & Industry Survey

Parameshwar Hegde – Dairy Consultant

Dairy Consultant – Specialist in Dairy Farm Planning, Project Finance Services, Farm Management Services, Fodder, Feed and Farm Waste Management Techniques

Headed by Mr. Parameshwar Hegde, Hegde Dairy Consultants is a dairy consultancy service based in Bengaluru.  Hegde Dairy Consultants provide end-to-end dairy farm consultancy services and undertake projects from the initial stages of farm planning which include designing of farm layout, architectural plans, herd development plans, selection of farm machinery, setting up of milking systems etc. They then prepare farm feasibility and financial viability reports.

They assist in planning of manpower, procurement of farm equipment, designing of animal friendly micro-climatic conditions etc. They provide fodder & feed management solutions which include fodder production planning, selection of related equipment and silage making.  They also assist in setting up farm waste management systems like biogas and Vermicompost / compost production.

They have recently executed 2 successful dairy farming projects in Assam and Ludhiana.

Talking about the financial viability of a dairy farm, Mr. Hegde says, “Typically, capital investment for a dairy farm will be like Rs.1,00,000 per animal (includes animal, shed and machinery). Herd average milk production is 10 litre per day. Cost of milk production is Rs.13-15 per litre. The selling price of raw milk is Rs.22-25. In such case the pay-back period of the capital investment is 3-4 years.”

Mr. Hegde lists the constraints of running a dairy farm as:
1. Breeding of animals and getting expected milk yield is a biological phenomenon, which depends upon various factors.

2. Dairy farming besides good planning requires hardworking, reliable and alert managers. In India, usually persons from the family take the responsibility.

3. Inadequate management of feeding, herd health and lack of quality control in various stage of production can cause major loss affecting the profitability of the entire venture.

For more information contact: Mr. Parameshwar Hegde,
Hegde Dairy Consultants, Bengaluru. Phone: +91-9535136206, Email: h.parameshwar@gmail.com

Source : Agriculture & Industry Survey