Sunday, May 26, 2024

Naomi Ruara: Why some farmers never succeed in dairy farming

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Naomi Ruara, a young dairy farmer in Githunguri, Kiambu County, believes that if it were not for dairy farming, she wouldn’t be where she is today in terms of net worth.

The farmer owns 50 dairy cows of Friesian breed, and currently milks 25 with the highest yielder producing an average of 38 litres per day.

According to her, many farmers in the venture are unable to reach their potential due to lack of knowledge alongside other challenges in the sector.

Ruara notes that during her initial years, she lacked knowledge on the best animals to buy for her project, a challenge that is common with most farmers starting out.

She also had little education regarding feeding and treating the cows, a challenge that saw her lose 12 cows in a year.

Inside Vihiga dairy farm with 8 dairy cows producing over 100 litres of milk daily

This was not enough as the farmer also fell victim of acquiring low pedigree animals fattened by unscrupulous dealers.

Ruara admitted that things aligned when she started engaging professionals. She advices other farmers to ensure they acquire requisite skills and knowledge before setting up dairy farms to avoid losses.

“I have learnt to build my project step by step. I don’t want to rush into buying animals that will disappoint you. You will go buy a cow you are told is milked 25 litres a day and you will witness that. But when you bring it back to your farm and feed it the same way, it gives you a litre of milk,” she said.

The farmer also advices farmers to be tolerant when experiencing fluctuations in milk production since it can be due to multiple external factors such as scarcity of certain supplements, changes in weather and diseases among others.

She notes that if correctly done, the venture can be highly profitable. She is currently producing 1 litre at a cost of Ksh28 and sells the said unit for Ksh49, making a profit of Ksh11 per litre from her 400 litres produced per day.

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