Mangaluru: Melvin Lewis, the owner of the Metro Farm near Kanakapura in Chikkadevarahalli in the City imported five Damascus goats from Cyprus, each costing Rs. 4 lakh. Damascus goats are a domestic goat breed used mostly for milk production. This breed is mainly raised in Cyprus, Lebanon and Syria. Aleppo, Baladi, Chami, Damascene, Halep, and Shami are some of the other names given for the breed.
The Damascus goats are of the Nubian breed and are large. They are often red or brown but they can also be seen in pied or grey colour. They can either be polled or horned. Damascus goats have a tall neck and long legs when fully grown. Their head is small compared to other breeds. The bucks weigh around 70-90 kgs on an average. The weight of the does varies between 50 and 60 kgs. The milk of the Damascus goat is known for being extremely easy to digest, especially for those who have trouble digesting other types of dairy.
Damascus breed goats can produce up to 1.5 to 2 litres of milk per day during lactating period.
Speaking to NewsKarnataka Lewis said, “Damascus is a dairy-goat breed from Cyprus. We are planning to go in for goat milk production. We also have other breeds such as Saanen sheep from Switzerland, Alpine sheep from France, Dorper sheep from Germany, and so on.”
Lewis further said that, “We have been into goats for the past 12 years. The cost varies depending on the breed. One Boer male from South Africa, Champion legs, is valued at Rs. 15 lakh in the market. They charge Rs. 10,000 for one mating and approximately Rs. 50,000 for import-to-import mating. We have about 2000 pigs on our farm, and we have been doing this for 30 years.”
He went on to say that there is no support for farmers from the Government. “I have spent the expenses on my own. All of those subsidies are gimmicks used by the Government to deceive farmers,” he alleged.
When asked about the adaptation of imported breeds the Indian climate, he said, “Bengaluru’s climate is ideal for all animals. The temperature ranges from 15 to 35 degrees, whereas in Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, the climate is extreme which will be difficult for them to adapt to.”
Hailing from Udupi District, Melwin Lewis worked for a bank in the Gulf before starting the farm. “I returned to India after Gulf inflation. Around 1.7 lakh Indians from Kuwait returned to India during this period. We had to do something so we relocated to Bengaluru. Land was fairly cheap at the time. We were able to purchase 26 acres of land, on which we now have cows, pigs, sheep, and goats,” he said.