With little knowledge in dairy farming, Kezia is making it big
Kezia is a middle aged successful dairy farmer that hails from the Miharati area in Central Kenya. This lady who has now become a passionate crusader and practical dairy farmer went into the business early when their area was still in the dark about modern ways of profitable dairy farming. At the beginning, she only managed to get an average of 6 litters of milk from each of her 3 cows. This was despite the fact that she had a 12 acre piece of land that she could use to produce enough feed for the cows.
Were it not for the income her husband made as a teacher, it is clear that the proceeds of their dairy farming venture would not have given the family of 4 children a comfortable life. However, things started changing when Kezia started attending livestock improvement programs organized by Kenya Dairy Sector Competitiveness Program (KDSCP). The training was done by a Naivasha-based NGO, Future Focus Development.
Kezia would travel by public means for about 50 kilometres every month to attend these programs. She learned that her 12 acre piece of land would be more productive if it was divided into small paddocks. She immediately made the paddocks and also followed the trainers’ advice to use AI to improve the quality of her Ayrshire breeds. She also learned about different types of improved fodder crops and planted them. In addition, she put up a 30,000 litre water tank to harvest rain water.
As at the time we were writing Kezia’s dairy farming success story, she had improved her cows’ daily milk production from an average of 6 litres per cow to more than 10 litres per cow. That earns her about shillings 36,000 every month with little effort to feed the cows. The proceeds have enabled her to comfortably pay school fees for her children in high school and put up a fully furnished guest wing in her home.
Kezia is clearly a happy lady and one of the successful dairy farmers in Kenya who can do much greater with more training and collaboration with the right stake holders. All that such farmers lack is information and skills on profitable Dairy Farming and perhaps the motivation.
Kenyans can get personal financial improvement and positive economic change to the country if we embrace milk production as a business. I am more so encouraged by the youths who have taken up this business and instead of desperately searching for employment, have created employment for other youths.