Sid’s Farm, started by Kishore Indukuri, uses latest technology to milk cows and maintain the farm proving how beneficial it is when an IITian indulges in agriculture. If you are one of those who prefers to spend a day or an evening in the nature’s lap surrounded by flora and fauna, then Sid’s Farm at Shabad en route to Chevella serves your purpose very well. It’s not any regular resort; it takes us on a tour to our basics where we can see and understand how modern methods can be implemented in dairy farming.
Kishore Indukuri, the man behind the farm, could have been an inspiration for many movies were heroes return to the motherland ‘to do something meaningful’. Like most peers, this Hyderabad-based engineer went to the USA and completed his Master’s degree at University of Massachusetts Amherst, and later joined one of the top companies there. But, his calling was something else. So, this IIT Kharagpur alumnus came back to India and started his own dairy farm in his son Siddharth’s name in 2012.
“Our family was always interested in agriculture; whenever I visited India, we used to go to our fields. Once I decided to return, the fields and the farmers working in the fields helped me get knowledge on farming and dairy, which are interrelated,” says Kishore.
Initially, Kishore had two things on mind – agriculture and education.He conducted workshops on ‘assembling automobiles’ in colleges and guided students who wanted to pursue their master’s course abroad. The time and attention that agriculture requires made Kishore busy and his focus shifted completely towards sustainable agriculture and dairy. “We moved back to Hyderabad in October 2011. And then, I started looking for sources of affordable natural/organic food for our family and found that the options were limited and not easily accessible. I wanted that to change – for my son Sid, family and also for families around us who wished to make healthy choices. Then, I thought of starting a dairy farm so I could provide my son with unadulterated milk,” says Kishore.
Although it wasn’t cake walk for Kishore and his team, he always believed that any effort would never go waste. “After much research, we bought 20 cows from Coimbatore and started selling milk directly to the customers. As most of people’s day starts with chai or coffee, the milk should reach them by 6 or 7 am. So, we used to milk the cows at 4 am; but, as the demand started to increase, we had to keep advancing our timing to milk the cows, which became a real challenge. That’s when we thought of investing in chilling and packaging, and most of our crucial challenges were solved,” says Kishore who now supplies milk to 6,000 customers in the city.
In the West, the milk is stored in large cans, and once the milk is chilled within a certain time, it can be preserved for a week also, says Kishore who implemented this practice in his farm too. A few farmers are helping him in milking the cows and maintaining the farms, and they are paid well.
To gain the confidence of the customers, Sid’s Farm also supplies their customers with a chemical testing kit enabling them to check if their milk is adulterated. Kishore also invites his customers to the farm. A lot of corporate offices, families, and students from schools and universities make a trip to the farm as a field visit where they can understand basic farming techniques.
“We allow everybody into the farm for a minimal entry fees. Apart from the cows and buffaloes, we also have pets like ducks, geese, dogs, cats and turkeys. People can come over and spend time with the animals, and also try their hand at milking cows, giving the buffaloes a bath, or go for a tractor ride. They can also feed our ducks or simply sit in the shade and read a book in peace. Once people come to the farm, they would love to stay for a night, and for such visitors we arrange a tent house and also bonfire if they prefer,” concludes Kishore, who says this gives him immense satisfaction and prefers to be one of the players in India who produces good and healthy milk.