Buying a Farm, Making Dahee

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‘This taste, I think 60% of my customers are younger people who just want a good probiotic option, that’s cheaper’


By Sue-Ann Wayow

EIGHT years ago, in order to relieve stress, one man specialising in entrepreneurial studies bought a farm.

It might seem to be an unusual way to relax and unwind for some, but for Donny Rogers he was expecting to use the opportunity to spend the weekends, care for animals and tend the earth.

Little did he know back then that taking care of a cow weighing 1,800 pounds was not as relaxing as he thought.

With a background in business and returning from a scholarship in India where he studied entrepreneurship, Rogers told AZP News,  “As a stress reliever I bought a farm.” The farm is located in Carlsen Field, central Trinidad.

Upon purchase, Rogers admitted being confused as to what to do with the mature cows that came with it.

“As a Hindu, I know if I sell these mature animals the only place they will go to is a butcher. From a religious point of view, I am prevented from doing that. As Gandhi said, everything is a teacher, be it good or bad,” he said.

Rogers started with the simplest and most important thing that you could get from cows – milk.

The supply of milk from his cows initially went to a leading distributer of milk and then he decided to add value to that product.

“The real thing in being sustainable is the value addition. If you could take a raw product and add value in it, obviously you will make more money out of it,” Rogers said.

AZP News met with Rogers and his wife Nicole Ali at the Divali Nagar in Chaguanas that concluded on Saturday night.

The couple from Caroni are the founders of Farm Fresh Dairy Products that produces several traditional Indian products that are becoming popular in the modern day diet.

The products now sell throughout the year.

Rogers said, “People  are using it now more for health reasons versus special times of the year.”

And  they are being used not just by Hindus, crossing cultures, religion and age gaps.


Having spent quality time in India, Rogers learnt how to make dahee or curd as it is called in the Mother country.

Dahee or dahi as it is sometimes spelt, is a probiotic yogurt that came to Trinidad with the East Indian indentured labourers. In India the process for making dahee is slightly different.

“Over time, dahee became what the indentured labourers would use for stomach issues and especially in their prayers where they use dahee as an offering. In the early scriptures, curd is referred to as a pure offering,” Rogers explained.

With time and the changed environment, the indentured labourers made dahee with the local ingredients available to them.

For Rogers, he said he makes dahee with the same taste that one would get in curd in India using all local ingredients.

He said, “What we found is that whereas long ago with the traditional dahee that was offered, it was the older heads that use to use it. This taste, I think 60% of my customers are younger people who just want a good probiotic option, that’s cheaper. A probiotic option using my dahee would be very economical you get the same live cultures in it.”

Apart from plain dahee, one can also purchase fresh ginger and turmeric dahee and pumpkin spice dahee, all made with local ingredients as much as possible.

Making dahee at home for the family to enjoy turned out to be a business venture for Rogers when his mother who shops at Praimsingh’s Pooja Store mentioned that her son makes dahee and that was where his commercial supply began.

“I started to supply them and seriously I would be happy when they call me for 36 bottles  a week. That’s where it started, 36 bottles a week.”

With the starting of a social media page, the product’s popularity grew with Rogers adding flavour and spices to it.

Then came the Covid-19 pandemic and everything changed with that especially, Rogers marketing and distribution of the product.

A Facebook post by former Minister of Agriculture Clarence Rambharat hailing the ginger and turmeric flavoured dahee brought more attention to Farm Fresh Dairy Products.


With the pandemic, everyone became more health conscious and some were opting for more natural products to use in their regular diet.

Shops were closed and sick citizens could not venture out to do errands so Rogers started delivering even without initial payment.

He said, “A lot of people started to use it and started to tap into that service where I could drop it to their home to them so that they don’t have to leave home and that I believe is the catalyst that made it popular.”

From there, the product went into larger supermarket and is now in approximately 60% of the local pooja stores.


Leveraging on the value chain, from dahee, Farm Fresh Dairy Products, moved on to producing paneer, first plain paneer and then again, adding flavour, an initiative of his wife Nicole Ali.

Rogers explained, “Paneer is an Indian type of firm cooking cheese. That is the plain paneer. Now because we have added flavours to it, it becomes more versatile. All the paneer coming in from India and China, its only plain paneer. We are the only people with the flavoured paneer.”


Although labelled cooking cheese, customers use it  like a cottage cheese or a feta cheese over their salads.

Farm Fresh paneer could be eaten  directly from the vacuum sealed pack it comes it.

Since the farm’s products are made with no added salt, stabalisers, sugars or chemical preservatives, the paneer is vacuum sealed for added preservation.


Then customers started asking for ghee and Farm  Fresh Dairy Products is now the largest makers of locally produced ghee, known in the culinary world as clarified butter.

Ghee. AZP News/Sue-Ann Wayow


“Our ghee is made to the  truest Aryuvedic principle. Making it with those principles in mind ensures that you have a very pure and clean product. The proteins have been removed from the butter. Butter has proteins. In order for it be ghee, it goes through a very controlled heating  process where those proteins using heat coagulate and go to the bottom of the pot and what remains now is ghee. That now comes out from the pot and is cooled and bottled and only when it is cooled and bottled then it becomes ghee,” Rogers said.

Masala Chai – five years to perfect

Their latest product is a ready to consume drink in the form of Masala Chai made with fresh cow’s  milk.

Speaking for local market, he said,  “Nobody else has masala chai being ready to drink in the country.”

That product is now being supplied to varying coffee shops.

“Masala Chai is the most iconic drink that comes out from India that can be found anywhere in India. Chai is generally made with fresh cow’s milk, actual tea leaves, and according to where you go in India, the type of spices vary. I use 13 different spices in it that are controlled so you do not go and spoil the milk, one of them being black pepper because pepper curdles milk.”

Rogers confessed that it took him five years to perfect the Masala Chai and upon confirmation from his eldest daughter, it was ready to hit the stands.

Unlike what some may think, the tea does not have curry in it.

“Masala just means a mixture of spices,” he said.

Farm Fresh Dairy Products can be found in varying sizes and prices.

Those who visited their booth at the Divali Nagar said they were very pleased with the products they sampled. Miriam who just returned from India bought two flavoured paneers saying the products were very versatile.

For more information, persons can check their Facebook page at Farm Fresh Dairy Products or call 776-6137 and 464-8152.


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