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HomebusinessAgnes Wangu: Isiolo Farmer Making a Fortune From Dairy Farming, Poultry Rearing...

Agnes Wangu: Isiolo Farmer Making a Fortune From Dairy Farming, Poultry Rearing Despite Drought Challenges

Agnes Wangu is the founder of IVEMS Agency, a dairy farm located in Isiolo County.

The farmer ventured into dairy farming almost two decades ago to address the scarcity of fresh milk in her local area.

Wangu was also intentional with practicing zero-grazing rather than free-range grazing which is popular in the North Eastern region.

Here is her story as told by WoK.

Wangu established IVEMS Agency in 2005 to address the unavailability of fresh milk in her local area.

Getting into dairy farming, she settled for zero-grazing as it required minimal effort and all she had to do was to ensure that her cows were fed well.

Compared to free-range cattle which had to roam dry fields in search of pasture, her cows would just feed from their shed and rest.

Wangu started her farm with two hybrid cows which produced enough milk for domestic use and some which she would sell to local hotels.

It was not long before the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) came knocking and offered INVEMS a business grant of Ksh 22.5 million.

Wangu used the grant to develop the farm’s infrastructure, expand operations and seek more training on the best farming practices.

Agnes Wangu PHOTO/Standard

By establishing her farm in Isiolo, she noted that she wants to bring change to the community by educating them on the benefits of zero-grazing.

Wnagu noted that she has since recruited somw farmers to the practice.

Other than dairy farming, she is also involved in poultry farming, running a unit that at some point had an average of 16 trays of eggs per day.

“Poultry keeping is also not a norm in Isiolo, yet it is a vital way of ensuring nutritional balance, especially at a time when the cost of meat and other sources of protein are going high by the day,” she shared.

While her venture is successful, Wangu experiences drought challenges which has forced her to reduce the rations for her cattle while giving very little attention to the nutritional balance of the feeds.

“I had to reduce the rations for my chicken from 130 grams per bird per day to 110 grams while the cows’ feed was reduced from 13 kilograms per head to 10 kilograms,” ahe said.

However, grants from organisations such as USAID and the Kenya Livestock Market Systems Activity (LSM) have been keeping her business afloat.