Sunday, May 26, 2024

Kenyan politicians raking in millions with their dairy farming businesses

Co-Op post

Kenyan politicians are frequently regarded as some of the richest individuals in the country, owing to the generous salaries and benefits that accompany their roles. Nevertheless, several of them have also invested in a variety of enterprises that have aided their wealth, one of which is dairy farming.

In this article, we’ll examine some Kenyan politicians who have found success in the dairy sector.

Isaac Ruto

Isaac Ruto, the former Bomet Governor, is a well-known Kenyan politician who has invested in dairy farming. His dairy farm, located in Tumoi, spans 30 acres and is worth over Ksh60 million.

Ruto has over 100 cows, 70 heifers, and several bulls on the farm, producing over 40 liters of milk per cow per day. Ruto has invested in high-quality breeds, and some cows on the farm cost over Ksh300,000.

In a previous interview with Smartharvest Magazine, Ruto disclosed that he spent approximately Ksh60 million to establish the farm, which also has a Ksh5 million cooling plant capable of holding around 3,000 liters. Ruto planned to expand his herd to 300 dairy cows, which would increase milk production. Additionally, Ruto expressed interest in manufacturing ghee and yogurt. Milk produced on the farm is transported to the Kenya Cooperative Creameries (KCC).

Ruto’s interest in dairy farming stems from his father, who was one of the pioneers of dairy farming in the South Rift region. Ruto uses the cows’ waste to generate biogas, which is used to heat water and other purposes on the farm.

James Omingo Magara

James Omingo Magara is a veteran politician who served as South Mugirango constituency MP from 2000 to 2009. Magara operates a modern dairy unit in his Ongata Rongai home and has been interested in farming since he was a child. Agriculture was his favorite subject when he was a student in Nduru High School.

Magara ventured into commercial milk production following the 1991 milk pollution incident in Ukraine “to help curb a similar calamity in Kenya,” as he told the Standard. He imported modern computerized milking machines and chilling tanks from the Netherlands, which have greatly improved hygiene, efficiency, and reduced labor costs.

Magara started his dairy farm in 2010 with three cows, which he bought at the Rift Valley Institute of Technology farm for Ksh150,000 each. Over the years, he has grown his portfolio to have over 78 dairy cows, comprising high yielders, low yielders, in-calf heifers, and unweaned heifers, which are housed in different sections of the farm. He employs five workers who oversee the production of over 500 liters of milk from 24 cows every day.

The former MP claims  spends over Ksh500,000 on feeds to feed his flock of livestock. The erratic weather patterns with long dry spells have made feeds scarce. To cut on costs, he makes his feeds by buying ingredients, which he mixes using his posho mill.

Johanna Ng’eno

The dairy farm belonging to the Emurua-Dikir Member of Parliament (MP) remained under wraps until an unfortunate incident occurred in January 2020. Ng’eno’s dairy farm was unknown to the public until 24 Holstein Friesian cows valued at approximately Ksh2.5 million died from ingesting a toxic mineral product. The importation of the mineral product was confirmed by the manager at Olekisiara Farm, Fredrick Mutai.

Mutai stated that the cows started showing signs of poisoning after consuming the mineral salt. They began to shiver, foam at the mouth, run wild, and subsequently drop dead one after the other, all within five minutes. Despite the immediate intervention of a veterinary doctor who administered injections in an attempt to save the animals, there was little he could do to prevent their deaths.

Gladys Boss Shollei

Deputy Speaker of the Kenya National Assembly, Gladys Boss Shollei, is a prominent Kenyan politician who has invested significantly in farming. She owns a farm in Uasin Gishu where she rears various breeds of cows, including Friesian, Holsteins, Guernsey, and Brown Swiss.

To ensure the well-being of the cows, Shollei has constructed sheds for them, and they are separated into cubicles based on their lactation and feeding cycle. The cubicles can accommodate more than two calves who have been separated from their mother three days after birth.

Shollei has deployed a synchronized mobile application on the farm to monitor each cow’s food and milk production schedule. This program allows her to track the animals without physically being present on the farm.

The farm has its own nitrogen tank, which stores sperm and determines the gender of the calf before birth, ensuring that pregnant cows give birth to female calves.

The cows’ performance varies from 25 liters per day for the lowest performer to 40 to 45 liters per day for the best performer. On a good day, the farm produces and sells up to 1,500 liters of milk to KCC, Brookside, and ATM machines.

To keep the milk fresh, the farm features two 500-liter refrigerators, which Shollei claims have been very useful in reducing milk wastage. Additionally, Shollei has hired professionals to help run the dairy farm.

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