People Came Together As Caravan for a National Cause: Vrindavan Tharparkar Desi Cow Club

People Came Together As Caravan for a National Cause: Vrindavan Tharparkar Desi Cow Club

(Abstracted from an article appeared in The Indian Express dated 29th December 2016)

bg-1Conserving, improving and promoting own livestock resources is a national cause par excellence. Achieving these objectives community efforts, committed people coming together. The team led by Mr. Chandrakant Bharekar has proved that the task is not difficult and the stigma of low productivity in indigenous cows could not be solely placed on the animals, but that the people behind feeding and management are also equally responsible. The business model adopted by the team under the name ‘Vrindavan Tharparkar Desi Cow  Club’ is equally interesting. The group in 2013 started a farm in Bhukum, a suburb near Pune for which the team mates invested 1-2 lakhs which now has come down to 51,000. The farm that was started with 9 cows has grown into 150 cow farm with 137 members. When sub-optimally managed Tharparkar cows on an average yield 2-3 L milk but with improved management and feeding at the Bhukum farm the average as per the report published in Indian Express (Saving Indigenous Cattle from the Brink of Extinction, dated 29th December 2016) has gone up to 8 L and few have exceeded 16 L peak yield. Converting this average with fat and solid-not-fat- content of milk this yield can be equated to around 12 L or 3000 lactation yield compared to HF. If the life-time milk production is considered Tharpakar (expected milk for average 8 lactation i.e. 24,000 L with average of 3.5 lactation of HF- 12,000 L) would be yielding double milk produced by an average Indian HF. The farm is a proof that our native breeds of cows are not far behind in productivity if properly taken care of. 

The marketing principle also appear to be sound economics, each member pays Rs. 6000 per month and get 2 L milk per day, thus avoiding high interest loan from banks. This also proves that consumers do not mind paying Rs. 100 for safe organic milk from known source rather than buying packed milk where ultimate source of milk and practices of rearing cows there is not known. The Group is also earning additional revenue by marketing dung, urine and medicinal products.       

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