State-owned Kerala Feeds Ltd (KFL) clocked a turnover of Rs 495.85 crore in 2019-20, nearly hitting the target despite a crisis owing to the COVID pandemic towards the end of the financial year.
Rs 500 crore was the turnover the PSU aimed during the fiscal, according to officials.
“From the income we got selling each kilo of cattle feed, 91 per cent was spent on buying raw materials. Yet we decided not to raise the prices,” said KFL Chairman K S Indusekharan Nair. “That compelled private players not to hike prices too much. In fact, we sold (50-kg bags) at a price that was 130 rupees less vis-à-vis the year-ago period.”
KFL did face problems owing to the spread of the novel coronavirus, but it managed to resolve them with prompt and prudent measures. “The orders we had placed didn’t come from other states owing to the lockdown that restricted transportation,” recalled Nair. At this, Kerala Animal Welfare Minister K Raju and Additional Chief Secretary R K Singh intervened and enabled the PSU to overcome the stalemate. “Also, we had to cut working hours (shifts) and production.”
Further, KFL facilitated dairy farmers to contact the PSU and ensure supply of cattle feed. “This move helped us earn further access in various parts of Kerala,” pointed out Dr B Sreekumar, Managing Director of the company. “If there was no COVID, we would have surpassed the Rs 500-crore turnover target.”
Currently, the PSU is readying a mobile-phone app for dairy farmers to contact KFL and order cattle feed. Further, the company will hold in July a training course for expatriates who have returned to Kerala and are planning to start cattle farms. Named ‘Entrepreneurial Vigour’, the project will also rope in new-generation youths into dairying, according to Dr Sreekumar. Superstar Jayaram, who is KFL’s brand ambassador, will play a key role in the mission, he added.
The start of a state-of-the-art production plant at Thodupuzha (Idukki district) and the launch of the highly-nutritious KF Dairy Rich Plus feed for milch cows have been notable achievements of the PSU in 2019-20. Also, the company came up with chicken feed in the fiscal. “There is some hiccup in its distribution owing to the lockdown. We are rectifying that by carrying out certain COVID-time concessions,” revealed Dr Sreekumar.
None of the crises, including COVID, stopped KFL from carrying out its innovative projects during 2019-20. “What’s more, we made deeper market penetration by finding more buyers of our products in societies across the state,” added MD Dr Sreekumar.
The 1995-founded KFL is headquartered at Kallettumkara near Irinjalakuda in Thrissur district.