Bernard Njaramba: CEO Who Quit Job To Breed Exotic Sheep

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Bernard Njaramba at his farm PHOTO/Courtesy

Bernard Njaramba quit a lucrative job at a telecommunications company in Tanzania, to set up a sheep breeding enterprise in Machakos where he owned a piece of land.

Despite facing challenges while starting, he is currently running a successful enterprise and registered as a member of the Dorper Sheep Breeders Society of Kenya.

Here is his story as told by WoK.

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Background

Njaramba left her job at Telesis Tanzania where he served as the chief executive officer and ventured into exotic Dorper sheep breeding.

The communication expert set up his business at a 40-acre piece of land that he had earlier bought in Kantafu, Machakos County.

At the farm, Njaramba built a modern high roof structure for the sheep and fitted it with CCTV cameras for easy monitoring.

He also drilled boreholes which serve as water sources and are powered by solar.

Sheep rearing

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He began his new enterprise by rearing indigenous sheep and goats but they were taking too long to mature.

It was then when he got two Dorper lambs from a farm in Nakuru for crossbreeding.

“I couldn’t get more than Ksh 3,000 from an indigenous sheep and goat. With zeal to succeed, I decided to buy two Dorper breeding lambs from a farm in Nakuru for Ksh 25,000 each, ready to cross-breed my flock,” Njaramba said.

After successful breeding, Njaramba was amazed by the yields and decided to invest in Dorper breed research for better results.

“My research took me to several local Dorper sheep farms before going to South Africa for the best Dorper genetics sought by world best breeders. I was looking for the best sheep that guarantee higher yields,” he told Business Daily.

Dorper sheep

After doing his research, Njaramba imported seven pregnant ewes and three breeding lambs that later a multiplied to a flock of 450 breeding ewes.

He, however, pointed out adaptability to new climates, diseases and pests as some challenges that he faced while starting up.

This specific breed, he said, are drought resistant, gain weight fast and are not selective grazers hence they thrive fast.

An eight-month lamb weighs between 45 to 50 kilograms while a mature ewe can weigh between 100 to 115 kilograms.

At the beginning, Njaramba bred for meat and supplying to local traders and exporters before he started breeding for experienced farmers in East Africa.

“Dorper meat demand is higher than supply. It’s a volume-based market. The fat cover is well spread, and the meat is tender compared with indigenous Dorper reared by pastoralists,” he explained.

He also offers training to farm owners and their employees who are usually housed within the farm for three days of rigorous training.

At the same time, Njaramba insured his sheep against theft and death and advised farmers to always insure their flock to avoid losses in case of any eventuality.

“I want to demystify the notion that animal rearing is a backup plan for employed people or an activity for unlearned people back in the villages

“Farming ought to be embraced as a career. If I hadn’t utilised my land for Dorper sheep breeding it would have either gone to waste or used as a recreational centre,” Njaramba said.

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