kalpataru emu management & products (kemp) has been raising emus since 2002-03. It was my father suresh mestry?s an industrialist & a farmer?s brain child, to start emu farming, as an allied agriculture activity. My husband bhadresh l mehta also joined him as equal partner and invested 50% of the project cost, as hobby on the haste of my father.
there were 26 farmers in maharashtra before us, but we were the first one to start with 100 unrelated breeder emus with hatchery set up in maharashtra. Till such time people were trading the related birds and fool the farmers.
within a year we lost 25+ birds because of our mistake we do not blame our seniors because we believe that they did not know better. Within the six months my father, an industrialist & a farmer, thought of closing down kemp emu farm. My father told to return the birds and he was kind enough to return our investment and bear the loss for himself. At that point of time i also thought of closing down. But my husband was reluctant as he has never lost any battle in his life, he determined to continue. Regarding further finance, no bank was giving loan on emu he took personal loan as he was having good credit line on credit card of citibank at normal rate of 17% to 19% interest.
the turning point came in our life in month of june 2004, when we lost our 27th bird who just recovered from the injury and was kept with one male by me, died next morning. Purely my mistake, (it has been found that either the person who sells you birds could be wrong or the person who is buying the bird. There can not be any mistake on the part of bird) i was upset, i told my husband to get rid of the emu farm immediately, or take a good knife and before going to work go to farm cut one bird daily so that we know after 74 days we do not have to worry about birds any more. But then knowledgeable mr brain stewart and mr tony anderson & ms. Christie anderson of epmi (texas, usa) came to our help. we processed that bird and we got 18 kg of meat and 8. 5 kgs of fat and beautiful skin. After that we never looked back. We slaughtered 12 birds for learning about the processing of birds, though we did not have market for the meat but just for oil and its properties. Thus hobby was converted in to pain reliever.
by this time 24 emu farmers had closed down their farms. The reason was lack of knowledge, misinformation, misunderstanding, wrong promise and lastly wrong birds. At that point of time my husband decided to educate ourselves, and we went to epmi at usa for training. We were the first one in india who has successfully completed the training in emu farming from america at emu products & management, inc. Epmi (marlow - texas). epmi is in the emu industry for more than 25 years. We have been affiliated with them and we are backed by them for the future of this industry in india.
our intention is to help farmers of india. In maharashtra we have 1 crore+ agriculture farmers, out of which 45 lacs farmers have less than ? acre of land. What they can grow in ? an acre?
we believe that if farmers take care of 10 pairs of emus in just 5000 square feet, (5 gunttas) and maintain for 2 years in addition to their agriculture activity, they will not sleep hungry there after.
we also believe that if small village woman or self help group can also start with 2 pair of emus and take care of them for 2 years. They can easily take care of the whole family there after.
emu farming is powerful tool for rural development and for women upliftments.