Dairy Farming in Kenya is a type of farming whereby cattle are reared for milk production. The farming is mainly practiced in most parts of the Rift Valley, Central, Eastern, Coast and Western parts of Kenya. It is mostly practised by small-scale holders, who account for 80% of the milk produced in Kenya, while large-scale farming accounts for the remaining 20%.

Photo by John Kiruthi – Farmers Trend Team

Conditions that favour dairy farming

The following conditions are required to enable a good environment for
dairy farming:

  • A good climate with sufficient rainfall, preferably well distributed over
    the year.
  • A good water supply from rivers, streams, dams, boreholes, etc. Water
    is essential for the animals to drink and to maintain a good hygienic
    standard at farms.
  • A nearby market for the milk within reach. Either informally direct
    to consumers or formally through Cooperative Societies and milk
    processors.
  • Availability of inputs, like stock feeds and veterinary drugs.
  • Access to technical information and support of a dairy extension service
    and to breeding facilities, like Artificial Insemination (A.I.) or bull camps.
  • Access to an infrastructure with all weather roads.
  • Knowledge of good crop husbandry; like maize, fodder-crops and
    legumes.
  • A cultural background with a tradition of cattle keeping and milk
    consumption.

Essentials of successful dairy farming

To make dairy farming a successful enterprise at the farm the following
factors are essential:

  • Availability of good quality feeds, fodder, water and grazing throughout
    the year.
  • Suitable breeding animals with potential for milk production.
  • Good animal husbandry practices.
  • Effective disease and parasite control.
  • Title deed land settlement.
  • Favourable good government policy biased towards smallholder dairy
    farmers.
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