Kochi: Ravishankar, the unsuccesful farmer who left the audience in peals of laughter with his antics in blockbuster Malayalam movie Summer in Bethlehem, have had a stroke of fortune in farming in real life.
Malayalam actor Jayaram, who played the jovial Ravishankar in the comedy, is now hailed for his hi-tech ‘Anand’ dairy farm at Thottuva on the banks of Periyar river near Kalady in Kerala's Ernakulam district.
“My ancestors were farmers,” Jayaram said. “For the last 10 years, I spend my leisure time in the six-acre farm. It suffered a bit during the floods in the last two years, but we have managed to come out of the crisis. We grow all the grass for the farm and have plants for waste management as well as power supply (biogas). On an average, we get 300 litres of milk a day.”
A versatile artiste who essayed memorable roles in south Indian films, Jayaram has also excelled as a percussionist enthralling large audiences within and outside Kerala. However, his keen interest in dairy farming has been a best-kept secret so far.
The actor’s farm right now has 55 cows. “Each one of them has been my selection. I go to places in Tamil Nadu such as Krishnagiri and Hosur to buy the cows and bring them to my farm,” Jayaram revealed.
The farm supplies pure milk to the cooperative society and in and around the locality.
Jayaram to endorse Kerala Feed products
As part of his initiative to develop a 'model farm', Jayaram will endorse a wide range of quality products of the state-owned Kerala Feeds Ltd (KFL), seeking to boost entrepreneurship in the dairy sector and attract youngsters to the high-potential segment.
Jayaram has agreed to go with great flair to promote KFL’s products as the Brand Ambassador of Kerala’s leading livestock feed manufacturer, KFL Chairman Shri Indushekaran Nair and Managing Director Dr B Sreekumar said at a press conference here today in the presence of the actor.
“The prime aim of KFL is to support dairy farmers in the state. ‘Quality milk and healthy cows’ is our moto,” Shri Nair told a press meet here, adding that a move was on to make Kerala self-sufficient in milk production by the year-end.
“This can be met by ensuring that the dairy farmers and livestock keepers get sufficient quantity of feed at affordable prices. It is to achieve this goal that the company has drawn up new projects.”
Dr Sreekumar said dairy farming is an activity that assures a minimum 20 to 30 per cent returns. “We need to encourage youngsters in dairy sector, for whom KFL is providing all support through its entrepreneurship cells,”he added. “Our company noticed the extreme care Jayaram gives for each cow in the farm.”
The 1995-founded KFL, which is headquartered in Kallettumkara near Irinjalakuda of Thrissur district, has set an ambitious target of gaining more than half the market demand for cattle feed in Kerala in two years. It has come out with a range of products to cater to different breeds of cows with the aim of keeping them in good health and improving productivity and quality of milk, Dr Sreekumar said.
The latest from KFL’s bouquet was Dairy Rich Plus launched in the market by Chief Minister Shri Pinarayi Vijayan in January. Other premium brands like Kerala Feeds Elite and Midukki are hot favourites in the market. It has also launched a product called Calf Starter, for healthy growth of calves, he said.
Other well-received products off KFL’s shelf include TMR block, which is a compressed block of straw enriched with chelated minerals and vitamins.