1. Success Story

Cattles on Diet! This Startup is Assisting 2 Lakh Farmers & Increasing their Profits By 50%

Bengaluru-born Kumar Ranjan had always wanted to build a career that would catapult societal impact in some form. He switched briefly to the electric vehicle industry. But neither could help him reach where he wanted to be — creating sustainable impact with his work. Read to Know his full story!

Ayushi Raina
Bengaluru-born Kumar Ranjan had always wanted to build a career that would catapult societal impact in some form.
Bengaluru-born Kumar Ranjan had always wanted to build a career that would catapult societal impact in some form.

Bengaluru-born Kumar Ranjan had always aspired to develop a career that would have some societal influence. He worked seven years in the automobile business, developing breakthrough technology and creating autonomous vehicles. Then he briefly moved on to the electric vehicle industry.

But it couldn’t help him get to where he wanted to: making a lasting effect with his work.

During the initial phases of COVID-19, he had the opportunity to have this impact when he met with few poultry producers to identify the gaps in the agricultural sector.

"My father works for a NABARD-funded company that assists farmers and agricultural students in starting their own enterprises. As part of it, I offered lectures to students in 2018-19 to help them become agri-entrepreneurs," Ranjan added.

With this insight, Ranjan launched e-Feed, which he claims has benefited over two lakh farmers by reducing their losses and boosting their revenue. The app works like 'HealthifyMe,' but for animals, charting their dietary needs and preparing food plans accordingly.

A Veterinary Nutritionist

"A friend introduced me to poultry and cattle farmers in the early half of 2020," he recalled, adding that he learned how the farmers were earning little return on investment for their cattle, which were generating less milk. "An Indian cow's average daily production is predicted to be 15-20 liters. But in reality, it delivers less than 15 liters. This is because farmers do not often provide adequate nutrition to the cattle.”

The 30-year-old also observed farmers abandoning cows to fend for themselves or providing them with fodder without considering its nutritional value.

"Animal nutrition is neglected, and farmers don't talk about it. We educate them on the nutritional needs of cattle, such as protein and fat. These are critical aspects that influence and eventually help enhance cattle health, resulting in increased output," he explained.

He added that inadequate and improper diets result in increased methane emissions from cattle. "Methane is a greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming." Animals emit the gas as a result of indigestion and poor nutrition. India has one of the world's largest cattle populations, making it a notable emitter. Nutritional enhancement and effective diet can significantly reduce this,” he said.

Similar problems plague India's poultry and aquaculture sectors, he claimed.

"The poultry industry is facing comparable challenges." For example, there is little traceability of poultry nutrient value. For faster growth, it is fed high dosages of antibiotics and steroids. In 45 days, a 20-day-old chicken will gain 1.5-2 kg. The nutritional stress they are subjected to is unimaginable. Humans absorb hazardous compounds in their systems when they consume them for nutritional benefit, which contradicts the purpose," he explained.

Excess of Ammonia Causes Infection in Fish

"In the aquaculture sector, excess or inappropriate fodder leads to the formation of green algae-like layers on water due to an increase in ammonia proportion," he said. Excess ammonia usually causes infection in fish, causing the death rate to skyrocket."

As a result, there was a need to emphasize nutritional value and animal health, and Ranjan decided to propose a remedy. "The app works by analyzing the nutritional requirements of poultry, cattle, and aquatic animals and customizing a program to fulfill dietary needs,” he added.

The first step requires reaching out and creating awareness among farmers to help them understand the concept of cattle nutrition. Suggestions on the interventions needed are offered by analyzing the health of a farmer’s cattle.

The first step is to reach out to farmers and raise their understanding of the importance of cattle nutrition. Suggestions on the interventions needed are offered by analyzing the health of a farmer’s cattle. Once the recommendations are communicated, the farmer may obtain the raw materials needed to prepare the meal from his farm, local shops, or by purchasing items developed by the startup which are available at their flagship stores.

Using E-Feed Products Increased the Milk-Output

According to Ranjan, his technological interventions and accurate dietary fulfillment have benefited 1 lakh aquaculture, 70,000 poultry, and 50,000 farmers in India. "We train them in our stores in Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, and Karnataka. They learn how to utilize the products and our app here. Farmers' visible results have been inspirational," he said. E-Feed, which has five partners, pitched its business model on Shark Tank India in December 2021.

"The app helps with in-depth information," says Dr. Chaitali Mathew, a farmer from Durg, Chhattisgarh. Since I am new to aquaculture, the practical suggestions and applications are very valuable. When compared to other products in the market, the company's products perform better. The startup's experts assist me in learning about the feed and nutritional content."

Dr. Chaitali claims that her fish farming losses have been reduced by 30%, and the fish's health and body weight have improved. Her total monthly profits have increased by 50 per cent, she adds.

Meanwhile, Brijesh Yadav of Gaur village in Uttar Pradesh claims his cattle's productivity has "improved substantially" in the last seven months. Earlier, my cow produced around 2.5 liters of milk. 

Using E-Feed products and tailoring my cattle's diet has increased milk output to 4 liters. Additional benefit is that my cattle have become more resistant to disease. The Chakota disease spread among cattle in our village a few months ago, but mine survived. Their improved health has cut my monthly costs by 25%," he added.

Farmers No Need to Buy Expensive Feed, As Now They Themselves Can Make it 

"Such technologies are used by corporations and large-scale cattle enterprises, but remain inaccessible for small scale farmers,” Ranjan added.  “However, the app has the ability to change that. Farmers no longer need to buy expensive feed since they can make it themselves on their property," he explained

"I had no background in the field and had to learn everything from scratch," Ranjan says of the obstacles of embarking on this path. It was also difficult to put together a capable execution team. Moreover, farmers needed to be convinced to take animal nutrition seriously.”

"Farmers demand rapid gratification, which is regrettably not achievable in terms of animal nutrition," he said. For example, they utilize urea to improve milk production in a cow, which produces benefits overnight. Those who use steroids notice quick results, and we anticipate our medications to do the same. However, such treatments are poisonous and hazardous to both animals and people.

It takes time and effort to educate and assist farmers in comprehending the true essence of animal nutrition." Ranjan believes that, in addition to farmers, consumers must become more sensitive when it comes to consuming meat and dairy products. "There is a growing interest in organic food and plants .And it is time people start caring about dairy and meat. It is only then that farmers producing quality products will receive deserved value,” he added.

Share your comments

Subscribe to our Newsletter. You choose the topics of your interest and we'll send you handpicked news and latest updates based on your choice.

Subscribe Newsletters