I have written this article, after a discussion with actual cattle farmers. However, I haven’t explored how the most recent ban on cow slaughter might affect the economics of this business.
I interviewed a couple who rear cattle for their livelihood. The wife is Mrs. Prathima, who hails from a village called Chiganipallya, and the husband is Mr. Sampath Kumar.
Broadly, their business revolves around extracting milk from cows and selling it to large companies in the dairy sector.
They own 3 cows totally, each of which cost them Rs. 7500. Therefore the capital they invested in purchasing the cows, amounts to Rs. 22,500. One of the advantages of such businesses is it involves a fixed cost/ one-time purchase, which in this case was the cost of purchase of their cows.
They milk the cows twice, during a day. In the mornings, the cows on an average give 15 litres each, while in the evenings they give around 12 litres each. This implies that in one day, a single cow gives around 27 litres. Therefore in a single day, the total amount of milk extracted is roughly 80 litres.
We learnt that a cow supplies milk for a long span of 10 to 12 years. We also got to know, that it only takes about 10 minutes to milk each cow. And therefore to milk all the three cows in the morning and evening, it takes about an hour.
They sell these 80 litres of milk at a rate of Rs. 21/ litre to a private dairy company called “Arogya”, hence earning a total of close to Rs. 1700 in a single day. Also, they spend Rs. 1200 per day in procuring animal feed which constitutes Jowha and Indi. Therefore in a day, they earn a net profit of Rs. 500. Thus, in a month they earn Rs. 15,000, and in a year Rs. 1,80,000.
Additionally, they use cow dung as manure for their farm and dried cow dung cakes as fuel for heating water.