In the deep hearts of most of the urbanites, there lingers a yearning about getting involved with our ancient profession of doing agriculture and rearing farm animals, despite handful of earning and being rich. That is the reason for many people living in major cities try to venture agriculture as an alternative profession. One among them is Jesuraj Sandhyagu from Chennai, who is having his own institution for capacity building and also has established a goat farm in Othivakkam village, Guduvancheri, Kancheepuram district.
We met him at his farm in one of the mornings, dialoguing with him.
“My native is Puliyadithammam village, near Kaalayaar Koil of Sivagangai district. Our family hails from agriculture background. My mother used to say proudly that ‘I fed milk to you while working in the agriculture fields, sitting on the bunds’. Perhaps that could be the reason for my serious interest in agriculture. I came to Chennai for my higher studies in a college. After completing my studies, I could get a job in the city. And there I settled. At present, I have established my own institution providing training on capacity building for corporate employees. Ten years ago I bought a piece of land, 3 acres in its spread with an intention to build a training centre. After completing the building, with the remaining piece of land I have planted trees like teak and maanu and also have been growing vegetables for domestic purpose.
At the beginning, I reared rabbits by caging them in the farm. To provide fodder to them I started growing Kalyana murungai trees (Erythrina indica) in the farm. Then I got into rearing of cattle by procuring three milch cows to the farm. I used to get 10 litres of milk daily. But we could not profit out of it as the workers here were not aware of proper marketing strategies. I could not spare adequate time for the farm as I was into my own business. I used to visit the farm once a week. So, I moved to rearing goats, discontinuing the cattle rearing.
I procured 12 home-grown goats at the rate of Rs 5000 per goat from Kaveripakkam of Vellore district. Only these goats suited my need. They reproduced to have 40 goats now. Including ten kids there are 50 currently available in the farm. I bought a separate piece of land spreading 1 ½ acre and I have constructed a shed with a dimension of 70 feet length and 25 feet breadth”. While describing about his farm he took us inside the shed.
“This shed can accommodate about 100 goats. But grazing is very important for goats. They will be taken to a nearby hillock for grazing every day in the morning by 9 am. They will be brought back to the farm by noon to have food and also provide milk to their kids and then taken back for grazing. There are 30 Kodukkapuli trees (Manila tamarind) to provide fodder for the goats and I have many plans to raise various green fodder. I have already ordered seeds for the green fodder.
There will be parasitic infestation on them as they go out for grazing. They will be periodically removed. Goats tend to have sores in their mouth. It can be cured by mixing neem oil and turmeric powder as paste and applying it on the sores. They are frequently affected by diarrhoea and it can be cured by allopathic treatments. As I realized that however the farm workers toil in the field, it is better to involve personally in the field, right now I am planning to stay in the farm.
My wife is a teacher. At once she retires we are planning to settle in the farm itself”. Then he shared about the income details with us.
“In these three years, I have sold a total of 13 goats. Besides, I currently have 40 adults and ten kids. Those forty adults are worth about Rs 2,00,000 and the kids about Rs 20,000. I earned about Rs 60,000 from selling those 13 adults. The worth of goat dung is about Rs 30,000. So, the total income comes about Rs 3,10,000.
Mobile: 99400 99429
Three kids in two years
Suresh, from Thirukkazhukkundram of Kancheepuram district, shared the details of goat breeding as given below:
“Country breeds prove easy to sell. Three kids can be had from a goat in two years. Mostly, I will rear them till eight months before selling. On an average, a kid can be sold for Rs 3000 to 4000.
I have a total of 50 goats. With them I could get 210 kids within two years. An average of 70 kids per batch, I could earn Rs 2 lakhs and for three batches I could earn Rs 6,00,000. If we calculate per year, it can be Rs 3 lakhs that we can earn from them. Expenses on vaccination, traditional herbal treatment, maintenance would come to Rs 30,000 and therefore, the balance is a net profit. But its profit is purely dependent on how we match our hard work with expertise”. Thus he concluded.
To contact, Suresh, cellphone: 95788 85728
Lessons Learnt: Take care of the kids!
“The reason for choosing and rearing goats over sheep is that we can get more number of kids from the goats. The goats I procured used to give birth to 2 or 3 kids. But some kids died due to lack of adequate milk.
When the kids suck the mothers for milk, we might presume that they are drinking milk. But even if there is no milk, the kids tend to suck the mother.
We learnt about this fact only after some time. Then we supplemented it with cow milk. So, one should be careful in terms of feeding the kids”. Jesuraj Sandhyagu cautioned us.
Fodder for Goats
We discussed with Dr Velmurugan, Head, KVK, Kattuppakkam, Kancheepuram district about goat rearing. “With the current trend, goat rearing is one of the best enterprises. We conduct monthly training on goat rearing at our Centre. Goats prefer to eat fodders like, Velimasal (Hedge Lucerne; Desmanthus), Kuthiraimasal (Horse Lucerne), Subabul (Leucaena), Agathi (Sesbania sp), Glyricedia etc. If they are grown within the farm premises the rearing operation will be efficient and successful. We sell Velimasal seeds at Rs 520 per kg. A sapling of Subabul, Agathi (Sesbapnia sp), Glyricedia is sold for Rs 5. Further, we guide the people in terms of choosing the right place for goat rearing, growing of fodder, getting bank loans as well”.
To contact, Professor and Head
Agriculture Science Institute, Kattuppakkam, Kancheepuram district
(This article written in Tamil by D Jayakumar for Pasumai Vikatan issue dt 25/11/18 has been translated in English by V Amalan Stanley)