“We eight friends, all from IT companies had a desire to do something challenging and impactful that drives rural India to have better livelihood. Besides goat farming is quite un-organized industry so we thought to transform it with scientific farming, rightful documentation and motivate youth to be part of this business,” says Mr. Syed Waquar, Founder and MD, Al-Habib Farms. “We engaged ourselves in intense research and traveled to remote villages different parts of the country before becoming full time goat farmers. In the process we realized the fact that farmer who does all the hard work is paid the peanuts while middleman enjoys handful profits. Therefore it further stimulated us to get into the business and change the lives of goat farmers.”
Al-Habib Farms is located at Utraon village, Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh. It is involved in raising, breeding and trading of primarily five breeds, Sojat and Sirohi from Rajasthan, diminishing Jamnapari goat, Barbari goat and Black Bengal goat from border of Bihar and West Bengal. These are high in demand breeds. Black Bengal is the most affordable and easy to manage breed of all yet nutritious. End-to-end solutions, consultancy services are also provided.
Educated professionals might be novice in the beginning but in just couple of months they have upgraded themselves to have tight grip on the rearing and supplying goats. “We learnt the intricacies of breeding and raising goat from internet study, close interactions with experts, scientists and veterinarians. Simultaneously we understood the trading diplomacy and market operations through our interface with people involved in all business levels,” shares Mr. Waquar. “With our experience, we can say that goat farming is growing business as demand is high and supply is less.”
Balanced feed is given to the herd specific to the breed. It is the mix of green fodder, bajra, barley, neem (good for digestion) and black gram bran. Leaves of cluster fig tree (called gular in Hindi) are also fed to the herd. Sharing the initial breed specific feed chaos he says, “When Rajasthani breed Sirohi and Sojat were procured at the start we gave it green fodder but it was used to dry fodder. It was a daunting task to manage the goats but we understood it was complete change for the goats hence it would need some time to cope. Therefore we then got some feed from Rajasthan and slowly changed its feed pattern. It was learning from experience that indeed is crucial!”
Timely medication schedule is the most important aspect of goat farming. Combination of desi and English medicines is recommended by Mr. Waquar as well as deworming once in three months. Vaccination before & after the herd delivery and PPR are must have along with the mandatory vaccines. Routine weekly medical check-up is also maintained at the farm.
Other than farm reared goats, Mr. Waquar and his team also have associate farming alliance with other shepherds who raise goats for the company. “Before these tie-ups we educated them about the problems and suggest the solutions as well. We encourage them grow goats for us and we manage the marketing plus sales. For their services we ensure to pay them on-time and slightly higher than the market rates,” he asserts. Al-Habib Farms has these associate farmers in many villages in Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra. “Anyone willing to work sincerely is always welcome to join us,” he says.
Al-Habib Farms is recognized as the most organized suppliers as the goat trading is practiced with proper documentation. “We started the trade with legal documents like purchase orders and requisition etc which was rarely seen in the business earlier. As a result we have fixed buyers and people look forward to do business with us,” proudly shares Mr. Waquar. In addition to the documentation, along with the herd dispatch, medicine kit and feed also are being sent so that the buyers find it easy to manage the goats. “It is small initiative we started but it is vital for the buyers,” he adds. Company serves 700 customers in entire country with healthy goats. “We have covered 60% Maharashtra, 20-30% Uttar Pradesh and some parts of Gujarat, Rajasthan and Punjab too,” he shares.
Speaking of the pricing he says, “We have slashed down the goat prices remarkably. It has earned us long term buyers.” Minimum order clocked is 100 goats for out of state order with only Maharashtra as exception where small quantity order is also processed due to good transport facility. Delivery schedule is 5-6 days. “We make sure to choose healthy goats for the supply. And imperatively we give preventive vaccination to the herd to help it cope with climatic change and resistance to cope at the new location. It is effective for 48 hours,” he adds.
In time to come partners shall continue to present operations. “In addition we are developing software that shall facilitate goat farming and breeding. It shall be a one complete deed on goat having details on breed, kids produced, life span and so on. It is user-friendly software that shall enhance the productivity and bring down the hassle to manage the routine activities. Presently it is testing phase and shall be launched soon,” reveals Mr. Syed Waquar and concludes, “We aspire for national recognition as the ethical and trusted goat supplier.”