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Animal Production And Health Division




by HG Muriuki, Dairy Consultant

By 1987, inspired by a successful large-scale dairy farmer nearby, and by his love for dairy, he retired from his clerical job to set up his own dairy farm in a 50 acre farm he had bought, 10 km from Naivasha town. By 1988, Mr. Musyoka had a herd of 10 dairy cows. Other motivating factors included confidence in his entrepreneurship; he had “tasted milk money through the dairy shop in Naivasha town and appreciated dairy enterprise profitability”; and he wanted to supply his dairy shop in Naivasha from his own farm. He had also been motivated and boosted his confidence to start his own dairy farm after attending a three week practical training course on dairy farm management at Baraka Agricultural College. The Musaka dairy farm is about 200 metres from the old Naivasha–Nairobi highway. The farm has 22 mature dairy cattle of which, 10 cows in milk, 6 are heifers, 5 are calves and one is a mating bull. The farm has its own borehole for water and is well served with electricity. Although his motivation to acquire the farm was to establish dairy, he grows vegetables, both for local and export markets and food crops such as maize, beans and potatoes for his household and the workers. Vegetable and crop growing takes over half of the 50 acres farm. The dairy enterprise takes about 15 acres, i.e., 7 acres of pastures and grazing land and 9 acres of fodder and dairy structures including cattle houses and farm stores. The family homestead occupies about 5 acres. Mr. Musyoka handed over the ownership and management of his milk shop to his son in 2004 and concentrated his efforts to the management the farm where he is assisted by a farm manager, Mr. William Wambua Kitheko. He and his manager

Naivasha, Kenya. Mr. Musyoka ventured into dairying in 1985 as a milk trader in Naivasha town, opening the Musaka Dairy Shop. He established the business while still working for government

receive dairy related technology and information from extension services, especially from the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries and from the Kenya Dairy Board; from workshops, field days, agricultural exhibitions; and from extension manuals obtained from Extension service providers. Mr. Musyoka says he also gets some technical information from KARI, Naivasha and from neighbours. His farm Manager, Mr. Kithoko, attended a feed formulation course at Dairy Training institute in Naivasha in July 2006, which he believes was very beneficial. He is now able to make dairy rations and silage from the feed resource available on the farm, and can also formulate mineral supplement, all of which reduces his production costs.

Milk Production and Sales

From a herd of 22 head of dairy cattle, of which 10 are in

milk, he gets about 250 kg of milk a day. He sells about 200

kg to Musaka Dairy enterprise in Naivasha, his household

consumes about 2 kg, he gives 3 kg to his employees and

20 kg is on average consumed by the calves. He sells milk

to his son at Ksh.20 per kg.

Annual income from sale of milk alone is about Ksh.1.5 million. The farm also generates other cash income from dairy related products including the sale of surplus forage, manure and bull calves. Manure sales generates about Ksh.6,000 a year, sale of surplus forage fetches about Ksh.20,000 a year while sale of bull calves generates about Ksh.30,000 a year.

Feeding and Cost of Production

The farm produces all the forage required for the herd with surplus production which is sold. The forage include:

lucerne; maize and bean stalks; maize and lucerne silage;

lucern; left-overs from vegetables (french beans, baby corn and others); and pastures. Over and above the forages, the Musaka dairy herd consumes about 110 kg of dairy meal per day and 10 kg of mineral salt a month. The calculated cost of milk production from information provided at the farm is about Ksh.11.75 per kg estimated

as follows:-

Labour 1 Concentrate feed 2 Breeding Drugs and dipping Utility and water Overheads and licenses

Ksh. 8.00

Ksh. 1.60

Ksh. 1.00

Ksh. 0.50

Ksh. 0.30

Ksh. 0.40

Advantages of dairying

According to Mr. Musyoka, the dairy enterprise is “superior”

to his other farm enterprises as reflected in the annual

farm revenues. The annual income from dairy of Ksh.1.5

m compares to Ksh.600,000 from horticulture (export and local vegetable sales).

1 The labour cost is on the higher side and differs with the norm where feed is estimated to cost in the region of 80% of the production cost

2 The cost of forage is not included although some of it is captured in the labour

The “advantages” of dairy enterprise over the other agricultural enterprises include:-

• the dairy enterprise generates a continuous monthly stream of income throughout the year;

• dairying is more profitable;

• the dairy business creates opportunities for social interactions with peers and other people including the elite in the society;

• profit from the dairy enterprise provides funds for the start up of other enterprises. The priority expenditure from dairy money is his childrens education. Income from the dairy enterprise has been utilized in his children’s education including sending some of them abroad for further studies, and for broadening and expanding his investments. Establishment of the dairy enterprise and its expansion has not had any known negative impact to his family. Instead, it has improved the welfare through improved family access to milk (ad lib) and increased income to support household consumption budget and other expenditures. Manure from the dairy enterprise is used on crops and any excess is sold. Excess forage is also sold and contributes to the profitability of the dairy. Although he had initially perceived dairy as a risky business as a result of need for constant source of water, possibility of not obtaining permit/licenses for the business and problem of getting good and reliable workers, he has since changed his perception to dairy enterprise and sees a bright future. He has two permanent employees who earn Ksh. 15,000 each a month and hires on average four casual labourers who earn Ksh. 100 daily.

The future

Mr. Musyoka believes he has been very successful in dairy business, both as a trader (his initial dairy enterprise) and as a dairy farmer. His future plans include to: (i) upgrade his milking cows to raise productivity from an average production of about 17 kg of milk per cow per day to over 25 kg; (ii) increase the herd size from 22 head to 50 head (in 3 years); (iii) increase total milk sales from 250 kg a day to 600 kg a day; (iv) construct an improved milking parlour; and (v) purchase and install a 1,000 litres capacity cooler.

to 600 kg a day; (iv) construct an improved milking parlour; and (v) purchase and install