Cattle Mettle is a social venture aimed at increasing cattle productivity by providing highly nutritious cattle feed made from invasive plant species that have been rendered as waste. It is based out of India which is the world’s largest producer of milk. Over 100 million small dairy farmer households derive their livelihood through milk production in India but the milk productivity still stands quite low, making small dairy farming unprofitable. Moreover, the condition becomes worse in arid regions like Rajasthan which faces a huge feed and fodder deficit round the year.
Cattle Mettle aims to increase cattle productivity, increase rural income and improve land management with a single solution. Their first product is based of highly nutritious pods from Mesquite tree, which grows plentifully in wild in arid and semi-arid regions across the World.
Its business model includes higher rural inclusion where they are creating a network of small and landless farmers and rural women in raw material collection and processing. The processed feed is then sold at a lower cost to farmers, providing safe and nutritious food to help increase their milk production. They not only stop at providing cattle feed, but also go an extra mile to provide information, training and demonstrations in livestock management to local dairy farmers. Their initial trials with individual milkmen have reported an increase in milk production, better cattle health and higher combustion value of cow-dung.
Plan and Funding:
This year, they have begun a commercial pilot and have already secured pre-orders to supply cattle feed to individual farmers, small dairies and cow shelters.
The grant funding of USD 5000 from GFAR would help Cattle Mettle to establish a strong raw material supply chain by forming rural collection centers which would enable collection groups and micro-entrepreneurs to store and process raw materials. The funds would be used as follows:
- USD 500 – for field visits, site selection, contracts and approvals (3 Months)
- USD 2500 – to purchase and set up 2 vertical ball mills (During first 3 Months)
- USD 250 – for SHG formations and trainings on raw material collection (throughout the project)
- USD 1750 – for combined yearly operation cost of mills (9 Months)
They will support 5 youth micro-entrepreneurs and create 50 additional livelihood opportunities from rural areas to co-develop raw material supply chains and promote inclusive, transparent and sustainable economic growth at grassroots. With strong supply chain of raw materials, they aim to reach 5 tons/day production levels by end of this year serving 1000 dairy households and feeding 2000 cattle heads daily.
At scale, Cattle Mettle would have three major socio-economic impacts by increasing milk production, increasing livelihood opportunities and rural income and improving land management by keeping Mesquite invasion in check.
They are set on an ambitious journey to bring down the cost of feeding cattle by 50% in next 2 years.
Cattle Mettle’s larger vision is to trigger and lead a global movement to adopt sustainable feeding practices for livestock rearing at grassroots and to enable small farmer households earn better.
Cattle Mettle is one of the Asia finalists for the Common Wealth Youth Awards 2016. It has recently been conferred the International Youth Award 2015 for Innovations in Agribusinesses by United Nations Industrial Development Organization at Expo Milan. Prior to this, Cattle Mettle has been the Asia-Africa winner at Global Social Venture Competition at University of Berkeley, California and a winner at Indian School of Business’ iDiya Social Venture Competition.
Nikhil Bohra is the founder of Cattle Mettle. He is an engineer in Biotechnology with a postgraduate in Innovation and Leadership. Prior to starting Cattle Mettle, he was an Innovation Fellow at Bihar Innovation Lab, funded by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and researched on nutrition, health and entrepreneurship.
Blogpost and picture submitted by Nikhil Bohra (India) – nikbohra88[at]gmail.com
The content, structure and grammar is at the discretion of the author only.
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55 thoughts on “YAP Proposal #152: Feeding cattle invasive plants (Nikhil Bohra, India)”
Very Nice concept !! This will bring new ways to generate cattle feed and will generate income for poor farmers.
It tastes awesome believe me..at least my cow loves it.. 😀 ..bdw awesome product and great thought…best of luck buddy..:)
Thanks Tarun! Mesquite is delicious! 🙂
Great Initiative and help to the rural areas as well as for women….well done and best wishes
Thanks Pallavi. We would love to hear more of your thoughts about using biotechnology to feed larger cattle population.
To make use of an invasive plant like Babool and convert it into cattle feed helping farmers to provide nutritional feed to their animals is a great sustainable idea. I wish Nikhil the best in his efforts to succeed at this.
Thanks Satya. Feeding invasive plants could be boon to animal productivity in arid areas.
Great work Ameen, paving the way for the future of agriculture. Way to go
Thank you so much!
Idea & concept is good and appriceated to develope flora & fauna of the area and sustain and more development of the ecosystem of the area along with the enterprinearship development for self genrated employment keep it up dear all the best
Thank you sir. We do feel that research and entrepreneurship are two sides of a coin which are both essential for development of any ecosystem.
Great job Guys! Keep up the wonderful effort. Way to go…
Thank you Soumya!
Amazing idea! All the best
Thank you Bipin!
Thank you Anjali!
Nice efforts and quite practicable too.
Thank you Abhishek!
Amazing concept to solve rural India’s most pressing challenge. Wishing you all the very best!
Thanks Shivangi. Its just the start 🙂
Nice Initiative. Best of Luck…
Great work, would like to collaborate for Gujarat region.
Thank you Rachna! We would be glad to identify area for collaboration.
Nobel initiative, All the best!
Thank you Vibhu!
India being the largest producer of milk providing high quality cattle feed with low cost sustainable resources is a great concept. This in turn will generate employment opportunities for farmers. Great job I wish you all the best for the years to come
Thank you Samarpit. Low cost cattle feed is the need of hour!
India being the largest producer of milk providing high quality cattle feed from the low cost sustainable resources is a great concept. This in turn will generate many employment opportunities for rural India and therefore growth. I wish you all the best for the years to come
Great concept and amazing idea. This is a very big problem to be solved. Glad to see someone working on this. All the very best for the team.
Thank you Ankur. Sustainable cattle feeding is a big problem indeed and new sustainable solutions hold key to resolve this.
A novel and a Nobel approach…keep going.. There is a need of such resourceful thoughts..all the best..👍
Thank you Dr. Shraddha!
A great idea with important elements that bring opportunity to youth and local populations! Holistic approaches like this, that impact industry, local economy, and local livelihoods are very important
Thank you Sruthi. We support #inclusivegrowth of communities.
Wonderful idea guys:) its gonna be very helpful in increasing the milk productivity..
Thank you Nikita. Our initial trials have reported a major increase in milk production.
Amazing concept! Wish you all the best! 🙂
Thank you Shilpi!
Well, there is a good thought i.e. Pro Poor and Rural majorly. And I think its a better way to increase productivity rather than using some artificial techniques. Good work. Wish You All The Luck.
Thank you Abhishek!
Great concept. Cattle feed issue is a big problem indeed, in both rural as well as urban areas.
All the best for your initiative.
Thank you Kartik! It affects rural and urban areas equally and low cost sustainable solutions could be an answer to ever growing cattle population in India.
Great initiative… All the besr
Great initiative, sustainable agriculture is the only way to quench the fire set by environmental resource depletion.
Great going..all the best.
Superb innovation for cattle…..
what milk fat is coming by consuming this product?
Thank you Anil. The milk fat comes around 3 – 3.5% on sustained usage.
Sounds great buddy… All the best…
I believe in this idea. It has the potential to scale, and prove beneficial for small cattle owners. Apart from that, utilising the spread of naturally available babool would also prove to be great!! All the best Cattle Mettle!
Thank you for support Nikita!
It will help many low income communities to earn better. Good Luck!
All the best nikhil, great idea.
That’s an amazing initiative. All the best!!!