Connecting, Transforming and Sustaining Livelihoods

Training in dairy cow management has improved milk production for Mr Edwin Mang’ira

Edwin Mang’ira is a dairy farmer who kept 10 dairy cows in his 4-acre farm. His mode of dairy farming was a free-range system that is the dairy cows were left to graze freely on his farm and along the road with Napier grass as only fodder crop on his farm to feed the cows The overall production of milk was 25litres per day, fetching him only Kes 625 by selling the milk to a hawker. This is very low considering the number of milking cows. His management practices of the dairy cows especially in disease control, record keeping, breeds and breeding and feeding regime contributed highly to the low yields in milk production recorded in a day. Hence the cash obtained from the sale of milk from his farm could not cater for his daily basic needs and to pay fees for his children.

Through the partnership of KENAFF and USAID under the KAVES project Mr Edwin underwent training on dairy cow management resulting in him disposing off seven of his dairy cows that were low-producing and buying three high production breeds from ADC farm. He built a semi-zero grazing unit which allowed him to closely monitor feeding and other management practices of his dairy cows. Further adopted the use of Artificial insemination as a method of serving his cows and planted high value fodder crops including boma Rhodes, desmodium and lucerne. Milk production levels increased drastically from 5 litres/day/cow to 12 litres/day/cow. Incidences of disease occurrence especially East Coast Fever and worm infestation drastically reduced as a result of controlled movement of the dairy cows.

Edwin Mang’ira has started selling his milk produce through a farmer’s cooperative and his daily supply of 60 litres gives him Kes; 2040 at a rate of Kes 34/litre/day, Kes 61,200/month, enough to cater for his family needs and pay school fees. Savings from the sale of the milk produce has allowed him to buy a pulverizer which acts as a multi-purpose machine for pulverizing the boma Rhodes and for making silage which he stores using silage tubes.

Kilimo Talii

Kilimo Talii

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