Jimson Kambale is a an established dairy farmer from Werugha, Voi in Taita Taveta County.
The agriprenuer ventured into dairy farming immediately after quitting his job, and invested his entire savings.
He also ventured into poultry farming in 2016 to supplement the dairy project.
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Here is Kambale’s story as told by WoK.
Kambale had always had an interest in dairy farming although he had no capital to actualize his dreams.
While still in employment, he started saving up for the project and used his Ksh 22,000 savings to buy his first dairy cow.
A while later, he managed to expand to five cows and even participated in the Mombasa Agricultural show where one of his cows emerged the overall winner.
“…now I have five and they give plenty of milk. I sell milk and make biogas for lighting and cooking,” Kambale said.
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Following the agricultural show, budding farmers started flocking his farm to learn about dairy keeping.
This was a win for Kambale who charges a small fee for the training sessions.
“I train other farmers on all areas of dairy keeping from feeding to breeding and feed making, preservation and storage,” he said.
He learnt the knowledge that he is passing to others after undertaking a training by Kenya Promotion Marketing Company (KPMC).
As of 2019, his highest yielding cow produced at least 42 litres of milk a day which he sells at Voi town for Ksh 50 or Ksh 60 per litre depending on the season.
Milk from his farm earns him at Ksh 2,800 a day or Ksh 84,000 per month.
Kambale also has a store in his farm where he keeps bales of hay which he buys at a lower proce and resells them to other farmers
He also grows his own napier grass.
“I chop my fodder using a chaff cutter and feed the animals twice a day, immediately after the morning milking session and at around 2PM in the afternoon. I milk the cows twice a day,” he said.
Furthermore, he ventured into poultry farming to supplement his dairy project.
The chicken produce at least six trays of eggs everyday which earns him at least Ksh 100,000 per month.
Kambale works with qualified livestock officers to vaccinate his animals and improve his milk yields, and use quality semen to improve his breeds.
He advised farmers to be conversant with their livestock and understand behaviour of his animals to take immediate action before it is too late.
“Whenever you notice your animal has lost appetite, has become inactive, lost weight and has a rough coat or has started isolating itself, there must be a problem and you need to take action immediately,” he says.
Dairy farming in Kenya
Dairy cattle in Kenya consist of indigenous and exotic breeds as well as crosses between the two varieties.
The choice of breed is informed by production system, ability, experience or expertise of the farmer, and environmental factors such as climate.
There are more than five million dairy cattle producing an estimated four billion litres of milk annually.
Milk production is projected to grow by about 150% by 2050 as the demand which is currently at 8 billion litres is also expected to grow with the population increase.
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