42-year-old Mr Srinivas Gowda, an Indian IT software engineer and a native of Ramanagara near Bengaluru in Karnataka, quit his job to start a donkey milk farm.
He started Aisiri Farms, an agriculture and animal husbandry, veterinary services, training and fodder development centre, on 2.3 acres of land at Ira village in Dakshina Kannada district near Manguluru with an investment of Rs 42 lakhs (AUD 75,000).
Mr Gowda told news agency ANI:
“I was previously employed in a software firm until 2020. This is one of a kind in India and Karnataka’s first donkey farming and training centre.”
As per reports, there are two other farms – one in Tamil Nadu’s Tirunelveli and another in Kerala’s Ernakulam.
Mr Gowda claimed that he came up with this idea because of the decline in the number of donkeys, who are harmless and neglected.
Mr Gowda says that donkey’s milk has a medicinal formula and it is his dream to make the milk easily accessible to everyone in India and abroad.
“Donkey milk has a lot of advantages as it is a medicine formula.”
The idea of donkey’s milk may sound new to some but it has been around for thousands of years. The Greek physician Hippocrates is reported to have used this milk as a treatment for arthritis, coughs, and wounds. Freeze-dried and pasteurised donkey milk is sold in Europe and the US
Last year, donkey’s milk was being sold for Rs 10,000 per litre (AUD180) in Maharashtra. A local livestock development officer Dr Dattatraya Ingole told Lokmat it has been used to treat heart ailments, infectious diseases, liver-related diseases, fever, and asthma.
Ms Jayashree R. Karkera, co-founder and director of Aisiri Fram, told Discover Agriculture that this is a unique and unusual concept:
“We are into this sector only because of medicinal values … People in INdia are not aware regarding this farming as they have a mindset that donkeys are used only to carry luggage.”
Mr Gowda is selling 30ml packets of donkey milk for Rs 150, which will be supplied through malls, shops and supermarkets. He claimed that with just 20 donkeys he has already received orders worth Rs 17 lakh.
WATCH VIDEO: Integrated Donkey, Goat and Chicken Farming – Discover Agriculture