La production laitière et les produits laitiers

A medium-scale dairy farmer

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 receive dairy related technology and information fromextension 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.