Week 3 blog, a kenyan dairyfarmer

  1. Hi all & welcome to our weekly blog. This week we want to introduce you to a very good friend of ours who has a dairy farm in Kenya.

Peter Kariuki has a small farm north of Nairobi in Kenya. It’s a 1 acre farm with a small tributary river on the boundry. Peter purchased this land 5 years ago & has since proceeded with building a house for his mother who lives on the farm full time. He also built a small unit to house cows, all Holstein cows essentially & now has 4 cows along with 3 maidens & a heifer calf born recently so the herd is growing & in time he hopes to purchase more land .

So what is dairy farming like in Kenya , well last year Peter produced 10,000litres from 2 cows on essentially a TMR diet as the cows are housed all year & also milked by hand. Feed consists of Maize stalks purchased in from a farm that grows baby sweetcorn , he also grows a little Nappier grass & also purchases in this grass too. concentrate feed consists of Maize germ, wheat bran, sunflower seed cake, cotton seed cake & fish meal. The long term goal is to produce & store maize silage which would last for 6 months & drive production per cow higher. All the cows are AI’d so he has access to good genetics , it is his vet who inseminates the cows & he hopes to use sexed semen in time to help grow the herd

Peters current milk price equates to 30 cent a litre, his milk isn’t tested for fat% or protein% but it is randomly checked for water content & impurities. He is part of a local group of farmers who pool their milk & sell to a small processor who then produces yoghurt & cheese. The farm has 2 full time employees as Peter does not live on the farm currently.

Peter & his wife & children live in Nairobi so he regularly travels too the farm. His wife works full time although her passion is still with the cows & she enjoys the farm visits . Peter himself trained in film production which he worked at full time till 2010 when the company he worked for ceased trading. He now works free lance on film projects. He was the Kenyan producer on The Hardest Harvest when Paula got to know him & we have all become great friends since having many great conversations about dairying in both countries. He really enjoyed working on The Hardest Harvest as it was his first time working with such a community. He also found it quite tough seeing the animals struggle through the drought. He is also our direct link with the community since & we are very grateful for all his help. He will also accompany us when we visit Maparasha in August & we are really looking forward to meeting him & also visiting his farm.

If you have any more questions that you would like answered by Peter on his farm then please message us.

 

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