The world’s largest integrated farm Al Safi is one of the most attractive sights for tourists. The trip to farm takes 1 and half hour of traveling from Riyadh to the side area of Al Kharj.
The internal area of farm territory has to be traveled through tourist bus arranged by farm administration. Anyone who wants to visit the farm to observe milk preservation and packing processes going on in world’s largest farm is warmly welcomed by management unless there are some security issues.
While you enter the parking of farm, tourist buses wait for you up to the capacity of 40 tourists at a time. The farm administration provides you a guide as well who enhances your knowledge regarding farm activities and segments.
Once you are on the farm, you will expose a new world full of natural environment and livestock. It gives an outlook of a village full of cattle with latest machines implanted everywhere.
Security and hygiene arrangements are highly advanced inside the farm which employs qualified experts and latest technology. The guide will explain to you a brief history of the farm with revolutions and developments occurred over the time.
The farm was established in 1979 under the ownership of Prince Abdullah Al Faisal who purchased 6,500 cows straight away from Netherland and imported in Saudi Arabia.
Initially, it was not possible for livestock to maintain survival in Saudi Arabia due to hot and dry weather conditions. The Prince brought the best breed which could survive even intense weather conditions.
With the passage of time, the farm increased the number of cows from 6,500 to 50,000 Holstein cows. The half-breed is adult and produces high-quality milk and meat whereas rest of the population is based on calves.
The mating process of cows is also advanced at Al Safi farm. Cows are impregnated in artificial ways so that maximum female cows can be produced. The hormonal and chromosome balance is controlled by artificial means so that male cows or bulls are produced in limited quantity.
A Higher number of female cows produces a higher volume of milk whereas male cows are kept under careful consideration until they become 7 months old.
At the age of 7 months, male calves are sold to meat companies to be sold in the market for meat consumption.
Young cows are kept under special care unit 29 kilometers away from the farm where milk-producing cows are kept. The milk generating area of the farm is known as milk parlor. Until calves are recognized as male or female they are properly caged.
Only female cows can move freely on the farm. A veterinary doctor keeps on checking cows each hour to ensure the quality of health. The feed of cows is imported from UK, Canada, and the US.
On daily basis, a single cow produces at least 40-liter milk. The cows who give more milk are treated as VIP cows and produce up to 70 Liter milk each day.
The farm has gone into a partnership agreement with French company Danone. The major brands of Al Safi farm are Danette, Safio Activia, Danao and Actimel.