In pursuit of our goal to empower and equip the South Asian church, we
raised funds to launch a water buffalo dairy farm in late 2005. Our
day-to-day efforts are being funded primarily
through this agricultural enterprise. Why dairy? Milk is a staple in the
Indian diet. With the human population boom in India (currently over 1.1
Billion), the dairy output has not been able to keep up. Thus milk is
highly profitable. 100% of the profits are directed back to our various
outreach programs in India, thus the dollars you entrust to us as a
donor are multiplied many times over (see chart at right). Each water
buffalo at the farm nets about $100 per month for our program funding,
and a healthy nursing water buffalo costs only $500. We now have plans
in place to expand this model of "giving multiplication" with farms that
will produce the resources necessary to build more orphanages, expand
clean water delivery to the slums, and more-- without having to raise
funds from the West for each step of the way. It's our hope that through
this method churches in South Asia can become self-sufficient in their
work to fulfill the Great Commission.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
1) Where do the dairy farm profits go?
100% of the profits are directed back to our various outreach programs in India: orphanage, widow's sewing center, clean water delivery in the slums, child immunizations, church planting, etc. Thus the dollars you entrust to us as a donor are multiplied many times over.
2) What form of financial accountability is in place to govern the dairy farm business?
We employ the strictest measures of accountability in governing all dairy farm financial matters. A council of native staff members and local pastors are privy to the financial dealings of the farm in order to maintain a cooperative "open books" philosophy. Reports are also sent monthly to our US office for administrative review.
3) Who runs the dairy farm?
The farm business management is overseen by our native staff. However, a secondary benefit of the dairy farm is its stimulation of the local economy in creation of jobs for the poor. We have some hands that are experienced dairy farm hands. We have brought on other unemployed locals by recommendation of local pastors who have vouched for their willingness to become apprentices under our more experienced hands. For those of you familiar with the Dalits, you might be interested to know that the farm draws its employee base from solely this people group. The Dalits have suffered severely from caste discrimination.
4) What is the daily milk output of one water buffalo?
It varies but one buffalo averages an output of about 10 liters (2.64 gallons) per day: 5 liters in the morning and 5 liters in the afternoon.
5) How much funding does the ministry net from each buffalo per month?
It varies but averages about $88 per month ($2.93/day) per buffalo.
6) How is it that milk is so valuable in such a poor country?
Not to oversimplify, but it does come down to a supply and demand factor. Milk is a staple in the Indian diet. With the human population boom in India (currently over 1.1 Billion), the dairy output has not been able to keep up. Thus the price is high.
7) What kinds of costs are incurred to maintain the dairy farm?
Currently our main cost is the buffalo feed which consists of a type of dry grass reeds, fresh grass reeds, and rice milk. With the expanded dairy farm we are currently growing our own grass reeds, and hope to expand to grow our own and rice to further increase the farm's fundraising efficiency. We consider our dairy farm workers' labor costs to be a part of our Dalit outreach program funding, in that it creates jobs for those who would otherwise be unemployed due to caste discrimination. Thus we do not subtract labor costs from what we consider the net fundraising generation of the farm.