KOCHI: She hasn’t received any formal training in crisis management or business cost analysis. But hardwork and perseverance helped Mini Raju, 40, a Class VII dropout, to overcome the collapse of her small dairy farm venture in 2011 and rebuild it into a cattle firm with a Rs 1.5 lakh monthly turnover from scratch.
It was in 2001 that Mini from Pulluvazhy, Rayamangalam, decided to rear a cow as a means of second income for her family which relied solely on her husband’s toil in a Perumbavoor-based plywood factory. During the first five years, Mini’s business had been cruising along and she even managed to increase the cow count to eight. Then in March 2011, the tide turned and one after the other Mini’s cows succumbed to disease. It left Mini reeling under debt since the cows — bought with the help of money raised from societies — were not insured.
“We didn’t know what to do as our life was suddenly in a shambles. It took me several months to come to terms with the reality and we were staring at an uncertain future plagued by debt. It was our ignorance of the insurance schemes which did us in. I decided to give it another shot by setting up a dairy firm, learning from my earlier mistakes. We bought two new cows again in 2011 after borrowing some money,” Mini told The New Indian Express. Now, Mini’s life revolves around her 16 cows which produce around 130 litres of milk daily. Her day starts at 4 am and she turns in by 11 pm after ensuring that the cattle sheds are squeaky clean. “We should give top priority to hygiene if we want to rear cows.
The cows need hygienic surroundings. Hence, we need to ensure that the cattle sheds are kept clean round-the-clock,” Mini said. adding, she has the full backing of her husband Raju. “He helps me manage the cows. We are planning to set up another big farm and have even identified the land for it,’ she said. In 2019, Mini had bagged the dairy development department’s best dairy farmer award.