Dairy farming is an important source of subsidiary income for many farming communities in Africa and in particular Kenya. Majority of small scale farmers in Kenya can on account of rearing cows for milk be deemed dairy farmers albeit of the low yields they produce to the markets. While a few can say to be profitably successful from dairy farming, the majority of Kenyans engaging in dairy farming do not achieve profitability. Even fewer break even. This has meant there is a taint to the venture which can otherwise be profitable.
This piece will try show how to create a successful dairy farm in Kenya;
i. Creating a Business plan.
It is first important to know the scope and importance of Dairy farming to Kenya. To know the current total milk production in the country and the per capita availability are key in determining and justifying doing the business. With this it is then possible to justify economic viability of the intended venture.
Also to include in your business plan is the technical feasibility which will generally include the technical and practical aspects of dairy farming. This includes but not limited to, grazing land, feeds, veterinary services, human resource, milk collection and breeding area.
Dairy farming in many ways is a capital intensive venture, especially at start up. Modern and scientific practices should be adhered to thus the high initial expenses. But this will soon be realized by maximum economic benefits – optimal milk production.
Capital should therefore encompass ideal housing, proper animal breeds, optimal feeding rations, milking practices and professional veterinary health (diseases, parasites, pregnancies, care of calves).
iii. Marketing of Produce – Milk.
In Kenya, most farmers sell their milk via cooperatives and to milk processing companies. It is therefore key to scout for the best buyers, proximity and mode of delivery. Farmers must always aim to get the best possible returns in http://shambaza.com/dairy business deals.
It is also worth to note the different requirements required by the buyer or processor.
iv.Sourcing of Cows and initiation of the venture.
Source for pedigree breeds once certain the technical aspects are complete. These include location and land, civil structures, relevant equipment, housing, production parameters amongst other technical aspects.
Veterinary aid and advice is the most professional and adequate service farmers can source in each of the above steps.
'Like any other business start-up do not get too much in debt.'