Kaduthuruthi: Alice Xavier, 59, who scripted a success story in dairy farming virtually all alone, has won the award for the best woman dairy farmer in the state instituted by the Dairy Development Department.
Alice, who launched her venture with two cows ten years ago, now owns 45 animals and has been the best woman dairy farmer in Ernakulam area over the last few years. Her daily supply of 450 liters of milk to the dairy cooperative at Valachira is a record in the area.
Owning high quality breeds like Holstein Friesian, Jersey, Sindhi, Sahiwal and Gir, Alice and her husband spend more time with the cows than in their house. She has also employed three workers belonging to Nepal to help her in the tasks.
Getting up every day at 3 am, Alice will be with cows till 9 am. Another unique feature of her farm is that milking done manually. In contrast to several other high-yielding dairy farms, Alice is yet to install milking machines. Milk from Alice’s cows reaches the milk cooperative by 6 am daily. Later, it is supplied in the evening also.
Alice’s dairy farm has been praised for cleanliness as well as the healthy condition of the cows. She gives all animals a good bath twice a day – in the morning and evening. The advice and instructions provided by Kaduthuruthi dairy development officer Joshi are diligently followed by Alice in this regard. Twenty of the cows were bought with assistance from the dairy department. Alice also grows grass on one-and-a-half-acres of land for feeding the cows.
Not being confined to dairying, Alice also raises duck, poultry, pigeons and buffaloes on the side. She had earlier won several awards instituted by the dairy department at the district and block levels.
Alice’s husband Xavier, who had been abroad, is now fully involved in her venture. Both their children are in foreign countries - son is in the US and daughter in Muscat.