Bought cows selling gold, bagged best dairy farmer award; This is Mini's success saga
Mini Raju, a native of Rayamangalam in Ernakulam, lost all her eight cows due to hoof and mouth disease ten years ago. After a few years of sheer hard work, she has now bagged the Award for Best Dairy Farmer instituted by the Department of Dairy Development. Mini won the award for best farmer in SC category in the region including Ernakulam, Thrissur, Idukki and Kottayam districts.
Mini’s husband Raju also support her in the venture. They started dairy farming with only one cow and now they have 16 cows, including Holstein Friesian, Jersey and Gyr breeds. They produce 130 litres of milk a day. Milk is sold to a milk society in Pulluvazhi.
The cow shed is situated on a 15-cent plot close to their house. Though small in size, the cow shed is maintained hygienically. The waste water from the shed is used for growing fodder grass. They cultivate fodder on their 60-cent land and a 2.5-acre land taken for lease. Finely chopped pineapple leaves are also added as feed for cattle.
Mini had started dairy farming selling and mortgaging her gold ornaments. When she faced loss, she even thought of stopping the venture. But with the encouragement from dairy department officials and support of neighbours, she continued farming.
Mini and Raju said that they visited successful dairy farms and tried to learn scientific farming methods which in turn helped them develop their farming. They are also planning to expand the farm utilising a plot close to their house.