Dairy Farming in Kenya
Dairy farming in Kenya is one of the businesses that is seeing an upsurge in growth. The price of milk in the recent past has been going up and this has translated into increase earnings for farmers.
Dairy farming is one of those business ventures that allow you to start small. If you start small you will not need to have a large capital base. Assuming you have some land to start with, you can take off with a capital of KSH. 100,000 only. You just need to purchase a heifer, construct a structure and buy feeds.
You need to know the different breeds of cows such as Friesian, Guernsey, Jersey and decide which one is the most suitable for your requirements. You also need to know which feeds are suitable and how to make hay. The good thing is most of this knowledge is available during the Agricultural show and Brookside Dairy Company also organizes a dairy farmers show once every year. In these forums, you get educated on the essentials of dairy farming and you can also network extensively.
- Value Addition
Instead of selling milk in its raw form, you can invest in packaging the milk and producing other dairy products such as yoghurt, cheese, and butter among others. This will require a mini processing plant that is affordable. The result will be an increase in income from your business. Apart from milk, you can also construct a biogas digester which will produce fuel for use in cooking and other domestic chores. It will save you the expenses of buying fuel for use at home.
Dairy farming in Kenya can be labor intensive especially for the zero grazing units. You have to keep the units clean. Diseases are also a major threat to dairy farmers. You have to be vigilant against diseases by having a vet on call and also arming yourself with knowledge on the various cow diseases and their preventions or cure.
- Growth potential
Growth in this field can only be limited by the amount of land you have and your own ambition. Otherwise it is a business that can go far if it is well managed. You can secure supply contract with Brookside Dairy or any other dairy processor and you can be assured of constant income.
You can chose to sell the milk directly to the market or you can sell it to the big dairy processing firms. Brookside Dairy have partnered with small scale farmers in Milk Procurement and Extension Services (MPE) support program which guarantees farmers a ready market, loans and training. Whichever way you choose, the market is available more so during the dry season. If you can plan to have your cows producing at peak during the dry season, you will hit the jackpot. The price of milk in recent times has been moving steadily in only one direction – up.
You do not have to worry too much about the competition. There is enough demand for milk especially during the dry seasons when farmers who rely on free range grazing have difficulties
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