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HindustanTimes Wed,01 Oct 2014

College drop-out takes dairy farming to new heights

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Amritsar, November 05, 2013
First Published: 21:37 IST(5/11/2013) | Last Updated: 21:43 IST(5/11/2013)

The steel structure mounted on a white-coloured vehicle is the cynosure of all eyes in the city.

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A group of schoolchildren remark, "Oye! dhudh (milk), comes out of this machine. It works like an ATM. You insert a card and milk comes out."

The structure is a vending machine. Fixed atop a truck, it has a capacity to store 500 litres of milk.

Though the vending machine is not a new innovation, these are being used in the National Capital by Mother Dairy, it has evinced keen interest in city denizens.

The man responsible for launching the first-ever milk vending machine in the city is Ravi Inder Singh, a progressive dairy farmer from Nag Khurd village.

Ravi, in his mid-thirties, dropped out after completing his BA-II from the local Khalsa College and decided to pursue dairy farming along with his younger brother Preet Inder.

Talking to HT, Ravi said, "My brother and I ventured into dairy farming in 2001. After gaining experience, we availed a loan of Rs. 5 lakh in 2005. We used this amount to purchase cows and to construct an animal shed."

After establishing a strong foothold in the trade, the brother-duo availed another loan of Rs. 78 lakh to set up a high-tech dairy farm.

"We purchased cows and set up a modern cattle shed. We also bought an automatic total ration mixer (TRM), which mixes cattle feed along with green and dry fodder. Thereafter, we purchased a mini carrier and the vending machine to sell milk," added Ravi.
 
Climbing the ladder
 
Ravi started his dairy business with five cows and five buffaloes.

At present, Ravi and his brother own 180 cows, with their best cross-bred giving 55 litres of milk per day.

Ravi said the total milk yield at the farm was an impressive 1,500 litres per day, of which 1,100 litres was daily sold to Nestle, Moga.

"The remaining 400 litres of milk is stored in the vending machine and sold in Amritsar," he added.
Ravi said he had 125 customers in the city and each of them had been given a pre-paid card. "They insert the card into the machine and get the required quantity of milk."

On his target for next year, he said, "I want to achieve the target of 3,000 litres of milk per day with the same number of cows."

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