The expo is organised as part of the four-day Ksheera Sangamam in Thiruvananthapuram
Did you know that a “natural and effective” mosquito and insect repellent could be made from cow dung? Perhaps, a bigger surprise would be bath soaps and face packs manufactured from cow pats. These are some of the “useful by-products” showcased at Kerala Dairy Expo organised as part of the ongoing four-day dairy farmers’ convention, Ksheera Sangamam, at Kanakakkunnu grounds.
“Dung from Gir cows are used for the manufacturing of such cosmetic products. The repellents also have disinfectant properties,” says Arnitha Aparna Shankar, laboratory administrator of Vaikom-based Aamro Dairies, which has come out with the products. Another product is dish wash powder.
Bringing together dairy farmers, manufacturers of dairy products and dealers of milking machines from across the State, the expo, which was flagged off on Tuesday, showcases demonstrations of modern methods and technologies aimed at increasing yield and reducing cost.
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Another highlight is various dairy products, from cheese to various payasams. Sreekantan P, assistant director of the Department of Dairy Development, explains the four common types and preparation methods of value-added milk products made in Kerala – dried, fermented, cooled and curdled. The department’s stall displays some of the small eats and edibles made using these preparation methods such as paneer, peda, milk murukku, chenna murki, paneer pickle and the ever-popular lassi and so on.
In a small tank at the stall, a sheet of undulating green catches one’s attention. On closer inspection, it turns out to be tiny fern-like plants floating on the water surface. “That’s azolla ferns. It’s a good substitute for livestock feed as it’s protein-rich. Compared to cattle feed, it’s much cheaper. However, not many farmers are aware about it. It can also be easily cultivated domestically,” points out Sreekantan. Other products for display and sale at some of the stalls include ghee, dairy whiteners, milk powder, milk halwa, milk chocolate, sambhaaram (buttermilk) and so on.
Agri-tech innovations, perhaps, are the chief aspect of the expo and they include various milking machines and equipment used for pasteurization, processing and component separation such as stirrers, pipeline milking system, milk coolers, ghee clarifier, cream separator, cow grooming brush and even “an anti-kick guard” that can be used for milker’s protection. There are also battery-operated and solar-powered variants of computerised testers and analysers to check quality of milk and detect dilution. Another centrepiece is a ‘Robotic Milk Collection Unit’.
A Robotic Milk Collection Unit
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Harikumar J S
An iteration of dairy co-operative Milco’s 500-litre capacity ‘Milk ATM’ that grabbed headlines last year with its launch at Attingal to ensure “round-the-clock” supply finds pride of place at the expo. The contraption comes with multiple payment options including coins, currency and debit card. A model demonstration of airy “double roofing” of cattle sheds highlights the importance of elevated sheds that are deemed safer. This has been widely accepted post the devastating floods of 2018 that witnessed massive loss of livestock. Kerala Livestock Development Board has put up a scale model of the hi-tech dairy farm at Kulathupuzha in Kollam.
A makeshift “goshala” at the venue shelters select cow breeds such as Kankrej, Gir, Vechur and Red Sindhi. Apart from bovines, various pets and ornamental fish are also showcased as part of the expo.
The Kerala Dairy Expo concludes on February 28
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