Sunday, May 26, 2024

Kiambu farmer making Sh6.7 million from 158 dairy cows

Co-Op post

Herman Wanjau, a dairy farmer based at Kiamumbi in Kahawa West, Kiambu County, is one of the many Kenyan farmers reaping big from dairy farming.

The farmer who doubles up as a trained vet and dairy sector trainer has adopted modern farming techniques and innovations that have seen him rake fortune from the venture.

Wanjau rears his animals on two different farms. The first one, a three-quarter-acre farm in Kiamumbi, hosts 78 dairy cows of  Fresians and Ayshires breeds.

He also owns another farm of the same size in Ruiru, off Kenyatta Road, that hosts another group of 80 cows.

From the two farms, Wanjau notes he earns Sh6.7 million a year, with profits ranging between Sh2 million and Sh3 million annually.

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His cows produce up to 35 litres daily. He milks the cows thrice a day using two milking machines acquired at Sh500,000 each, with a capacity to milk 10 cows at a go.

The farmer explains that each cow costs Sh750 to produce, which he says is cheap given the output.

According to him, farmers cannot obtain such yields without proper farming practices, including proper feeding and keeping the animals comfortable and healthy.

He feeds his herd on hay, silage, and Lausanne. The farmer revealed he started with nappier grass feed but moved to silage because it has a higher milk production.

According to him, a cow has to lie down for 12 to 18 hours for optimum milk production, which is why he has fixed synthetic mattresses in the cow sheds to ensure comfort.

“Deworm the cows often. Production costs spike very fast if a cow gets sick, so keep the shed clean if you want to produce clean milk,” he said.

To keep off diseases, Wanjau has provided footbaths on all entrances and regularly sprays the animals.

Through value addition, he has been able to increase his profits earning more than other farmers. He sells his milk to local supermarkets in bulk and at the farm gate in smaller quantities. He doesn’t sell his milk to brokers.

Raw milk sold at the farm gate costs Sh50, while pasteurised milk costs between Sh75 and 80 a litre.

With his farm specializing in pure dairy farming, Wanjau uses technology to ensure that the cows give birth to only female calves.

His cows calve every year, and three months after calving, they are injected with hormones to get them on heat before being artificially inseminated.

Through the venture, he has created job opportunities for 28 people.

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