M.V. Mohandas has succeeded in dairying and has won many awards
Around 10 years ago, when farmer suicides cast a shadow on the agriculture sector, M.V. Mohandas, an engineering diploma holder, started scripting a different farm story — one marked by hard work, perseverance, and imagination.
Maheshwari Farm, a large-scale dairy farm at Mathamangalam, near Thelampetta, in Wayanad, has set a model worth emulating.
The government honoured Mohandas with the Ksheera Sahakari award in 2016 and 2021. He was chosen considering his herd of high-yielding cows, volume of milk production, and scientific breeding methods.
Mohandas was at the crossroads after closing his workshop in Ernakulam in 2004. He decided to start a dairy farm with five cows near his house at Kodungalloor in Thrissur.
“My father had reared cows in my childhood. Perhaps this might have given me the confidence to set up such a farm,” he says.
A visit to Wayanad in 2010 was a turning point as he, charmed by the cool climate, decided to set up a hi-tech dairy farm here. He bought seven acres of fallow land at Mathamangalam village and set up a farm with 38 cows. “I cultivate CO3 variety of fodder, which is sufficient to meet the needs of the dairy,” he says. Now, he has 100 cows and sells 1,000 to 1,300 litre of milk a day.
Last year, the farmer sold 3,58,000 litre of milk to the Sulthan Bathery milk cooperative society.
Mohandas earns ₹2 to ₹3 lakh a month and is a model for many dairy farmers in the district. He also provides permanent employment to 10 youths.
Four year ago, 48 of his cows were afflicted with foot and mouth disease. However, he was able to tide over the situation with the support of veterinarians. The outbreak of COVID-19 also hit the dairy sector as the farmer was forced to abandon the milk produced on three days as there was no demand.
For a dedicated farmer, dairying is still a viable option, Mohandas says.
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