The legend says that all-powerful, stunning Queen Cleopatra used to bathe in donkey milk to preserve her beauty. The tradition of donkey milk being seen and used as an elixir has been around for ages. With more and more climate-conscious entrepreneurs bringing these traditions back in fashion, donkey milk is in news again, thanks to a gutsy businessman from Karnataka. Srinivas Gowda opened a unique donkey farm in Dakshina Kannada district’s village early this month. In less than 15 days of opening, the 42-year-old has already received orders worth Rs 17 lakh, latest reports say.
Gowda, an Arts graduate, used to work at an IT firm till 2020. Then a brainwave inspired him to quit his comfortable job and move to a small village Mangaluru. But donkey was not his first choice. Gowda first tried his luck with breeding of Kadaknath chickens and rabbits. Later, he started focusing on donkeys.
With an investment of Rs 42 lakh, Gowda has bought 20 donkeys at his farm. Specialising in the donkey milk delivery is an extremely niche market but Gowda is already on cloud nine with early success. Reports say that the farm that was opened on June 8 has already received orders worth Rs 17 lakh.
Despite many people dissuading him and mocking him for the choice of animal for his farm business, Gowda says that he was convinced about the latent demand in the market. The idea is to sell donkey milk in sachets of 30 ml at a cost of Rs 150. The donkey farm owner says that these packets will soon be available at various outlets in malls and supermarkets.
The Isiri farm started by Gowda is first of its kind in Karnataka. Before this, a special donkey farm was also opened in Kerala’s Ernakulam. Beauty products containing donkey milk are gaining foot-hold in India. From fairness creams to those sued for joint pains, donkey milk is now a popular ingredient in various products.