Friday, February 28, 2014

Looking for 'A Few Good Men' for the Savera Farms team!

Those of you who have seen the 1992 military classic 'A Few Good Men' would remember my favorite quote from this movie - You can't handle the truth! The truth of our reality is that we are looking for motivated and qualified team members and it has been hard to find them. This is also part of the reason why we have been absent for the last few months from Blog-sphere. Last few months have been very busy for us with our first Mango season and commercial production finally underway for Moringa leaves. We are looking to grow our small team and would love to hire a few more managers.


Our immediate resource needs are

Farm Operations Manager : This person will manage parts of our Mango and Moringa plantations and work with existing farm managers. Responsibilities will include overseeing farm activities, harvest processing, managing irrigation tasks, equipment maintenance and overall responsibility of directing daily labor. Ideal candidate should have related experience, preferably under 35 years of age with high energy. Candidates will need to be fluent in English & Tamil.  Competitive pay rate will be offered and will be based on experience and skills. We provide upgraded accommodations and transportation for our staff. Work location would be our farms in Sivagangai, Tamil Nadu.

Marketing Associate : We are also looking for a Marketing Associates for our Chennai operations. Primary responsibility will be managing existing clients. This will include regular order entry, demand planning, QC and managing delivery of produce. Candidate should be familiar and open to learning basic accounting for invoicing and payment collections. Ideal candidate would have experience with developing new clients in Chennai area for fresh fruits and herbal products. Candidates with background in sales and marketing for food products would be preferred but this is not a requirement. Base compensation would be guaranteed with sales bonus as part of performance incentives. Local transporation would be provided. No accommodation will be provided.

We are reaching out to our readers for their trusted referrals. Please keep our opportunities in mind for those looking to similar employment. For more details, always feel free to drop us a note at or These are exciting times at Savera Farms and we want you to be a part of it!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Savera Farms Goat Operations - 6 months hence

Massaging my mommy

Savera Farms got into Animal husbandry last July with a couple of dozen Tellacherry and Kanni goats. So far we have had a good run with as many births and a couple more bulk purchases. In a few months, our herd was over 100 strong. Entry into animal husbandry was a strategic decision to minimize the risk from our land crops (Mango & Moringa) and capture the opportunity of increased meat consumption. We have not limited ourselves to just the meat segment but are breeding pureline Tellacherry goats as well. In another a couple of months, we should be ready with our first batch of kids for sale.

Blue eyed buck!

Tertiary benefits include collection of manure. During our initial analysis, manure volumes were marginal at best. Over the months, we have developed ways to increase our manure. Fresh manure is briefly dried and mixed with urine soaked soil. Later this mixture is moved to a compost pit for curing. Over the past 4 months, we have been able to fill 2 pits. Into this pit we also add other organic matter such as Moringa waste. Each pit should produce about 40-50 tractor loads of enriched soil and manure in about 4 months.

King of the cell

At Savera Farms, we hope to be able to introduce artificial insemination (AI) in the near future. There has been a lot of research done in this field in recent years. Bovine AI has been particularly successful while small ruminant AI has seen successfully pregnancy rates of up to 25-30%. Govt. of Kerela is spearheading field trials in this space in India using Tellacherry goats. While current techniques provide lower pregnancy rates, AI can be useful for cross breeding and to prevent issues related to inbreed of animals. 

Sibling love!

Goats at our farm are given nutritious and diverse feed ranging from CO4, Agathi, Subabul, Tamarind leaves, Neem leaves, Azolla, Bajra and Maize fodder, in addition to concentrate feed. They are dewormed every 3 months and have been vaccinated with PPR and ETV. If any of you are planning to start a new farm, we would be happy to provide mature breeding animals with prior kidding history and practical advice, invaluable for a new operation!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Fodder Security : Bajra & Maize updates

Late last year, Savera Farms made a conscious decision to attempt Maize and Bajra grain cultivation. Our focus was to supplement and lower the unit cost of our current goat fodder. While our seed propagation was field dispersal, we did ensure that it is done along our drip lines for maximum germination. Since sowing, it took about 40-50 days for the flowering to start. Although our initial plan was to collect seeds for the concentrate mix, we decided against it due to heavy labor requirement.

Maize fields

Instead, everyday we are providing our animals a couple of bundles of fresh green Maize and Bajra fodder and the Goats seem to be happy with this succulent addition to their meal plan. Overall, the growth of maize was quite good, while the growth of Bajra was inconsistent since it was less tolerant to soil conditions.

Fresh Corn-on-the-Cob


With the labour availability being inconsistent, we have debated the feasibility of continuing with this cultivation and overall benefit accrued to our operations.. We may try another season but our focus will be to grow and store. Generating silage is on our agenda for 2014 and we plan to focus on the most efficient options to source ingredients. For the existing drip infrastructure, we should be able to make good use of it for our other short term crops.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

12 Things I Want To Teach My Child

We follow a few bloggers in the agri industry and others for occasional intellectual clarity. Very few of them have the verbal prowess to provide concise meaningful advice - Dharmesh is one of those few. This article from Dharmesh Shah was well written and stuck with us. Hope you enjoy it too!

1. Gather knowledge, but also gather knowledgeable people.
You can't know everything. But you can know enough smart people that together collectively know most of what you need to know. Together, you will be able to do almost anything.

2. The memory of work disappears like the memory of pain – all anyone remembers are results.
Experience is valuable – to you. Experience yields skill and skill helps you do things and get results.
Focus on racking up achievements, not just years of service.

3. Take responsibility for outcomes.
Learn to take responsibility when something doesn’t go well. Then immediately start thinking of ways you will do better next time.

4. Share credit for accomplishments.
Most of your great accomplishments will be the result of both your efforts and those of others. Learn to recognize this -- and share the credit.

5. Celebrate your achievements, then move on.
When you achieve something, it's important to take a moment, reflect — and even celebrate sometimes. Be gracious, be appreciative, be thankful… but always feel you could do even better.

6. Don’t expect life to be fair. Life just is.
You will often think “That’s just not fair…” especially when you didn’t get your way or things didn’t turn out like you hoped. Never expect life to be fair. You may not always receive what you put in, but roughly speaking the more you put in the more you will receive. Which is fair enough.

7. See ‘boring’ as a springboard to success.
What appears to be the boring thing to do is almost always the responsible thing to do. The people who achieve the most do a lot more of the boring stuff. Routine, rigor, attention to detail, chugging away day after day... those are the path to eventual success.

8. Don’t think you’ll always get a trophy.
Everyone doesn’t deserve recognition. Everyone doesn’t deserve praise. If you want a trophy, earn a trophy. You’ll enjoy it a lot more than any of those participation trophies you tossed in your closet.

9. Don’t expect someone else to boost your self esteem.
No one will automatically believe in you. Why should they if you haven’t done anything yet? If you want to feel great about yourself, achieve something great. In the meantime, use any feelings of inadequacy to make you work harder.

10. Understand that amazing overnight success is amazingly rare. And overrated.
Even if you could strike gold in a few months, are you prepared to manage that gold? Early struggles, effort, and desperation forms a valuable foundation for long-term success.Because there will always be adversity.

11. Know when to stand-out and when to fit in.
School was designed to help you figure out who you are. Now, school’s out. No one will help you find yourself. Learn to be part of a team and to fit in when necessary. Once you do, the people around you will be more than happy for your individuality to start shining through.

12. Count yourself lucky to have 3 or 4 great friends.
Social networks are fun, but your real friends are the people who will take your calls at 4 in the morning. And actually listen to you. And actually help you. Work hard to find them. Work harder to keep them.

Credits : Dharmesh Shah