Musthafa scripts a success story in dairy farming

MANGALURU: Against the backdrop of members of a minority community being targeted by ‘gau rakshaks’, 48-year-old Ahmed Musthafa stands as a symbol of love for cows among Muslims.

Musthafa started rearing cows 12 years ago, with three Jersey cows. Today, he is the owner of Hajaj Farm, which boasts 33 cows including the Australian Holstein Friesian (HF) breed. He supplies 250 litres of milk to the local market on a daily basis. Son of industrialist Abdul Khader, Musthafa was keen on taking up dairy farming ever since he was a child.

Speaking to STOI, Musthafa recalled helping his parents rear the two or three cows they had at their ancestral home. “I built a cowshed 12 years ago and started dairy farming with three Jersey breed milch cows. Today, there are 27 milch cows and six calves on my farm. I look after them like my children and I dedicate sufficient time every day to feed cows and maintain the cowshed,” he added.

A volleyball and a kabaddi player, Musthafa is a member of various social organizations. He pointed out that he never viewed dairy farming as a profit making industry, but treated it as a passion. His passion for ‘gau raksha’ or cow protection has also earned him laurels from many social organizations. “I have spent a lot of money in this venture and also suffered losses. However, in recent years, it has become a profitable business as the subsidy rate that Karnataka Milk Factory (KMF) offers to farmers is a bonus,” he said.

While Jersey cows produce about 8-15 liters per day, those belonging to Gir breed yield 10-23 liters. He is extremely cautious with regard to his HF cows, which produce 15-25 litres daily, since they are prone to diseases. He also rears cattle belonging to Sahiwal and Tharparkar breeds. “It is not easy to look after cattle as it involves feeding, washing, cleaning the cow sheds among other chores. Moreover, we also need to be cautious about diseases,” he said.

He is assisted in at the dairy farm by three workers, and the hybrid hay fed to his cows is grown on the one and half acre land he owns.

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