By Prudence Minayo
Many people embarking on dairy farming rarely think of rearing goats, whose milk is more nutritious and expensive compared to cow milk. When Kevin Uduny and his group embarked on farming, they chose these underrated animals since they needed to make use of their 1/8 acre of land. Having started the business in 2013, it has been able to provide employment to a handful of people while enabling Kevin to earn a steady income.
Here is his story as told by WoK.
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Kevin Uduny was born in the slums of Mathare, Nairobi. He lost his parents at the age of nine because they could not afford to buy supplements prescribed by the doctor. The other affordable option was goat milk which was not readily available at the time.
He promised himself that he would one day provide a solution for this. Growing up in the slums, he also longed to change his life and that of the community for the better. He had seen the challenges faced by slum dwellers including lack of access to quality affordable food.
The member of Huruma Town Youth Group (HTYG) began keeping goats and other animals in his small farm christened Toggenfarm
“I started farming when I was a kid even before my mum passed. She told me one thing: in the future you’re going to be a good farmer. So I tend to think that’s a blessing,” he told theguardian.com
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Speaking to Business Daily in December 2021, he revealed that he started by buying three dairy goats: a buck of Toggenburg breed at Sh12,000, a doe at Sh8,000 and another at Sh25,000. All of them were purchased through a livestock officer in Dagoretti. This stock grew to more than ten and so did the milk production.
Prices from the sale of raw milk ranges from Sh150 to Sh300 per litre.
The goats are fed with food remains he collects from the market, neem leaves, hay and dairy meal supplement.
The entrepreneur got a grant from the government through the Njaa Marufuku ‘Alleviate Food Insecurity‘ Project of Ksh150,000 that was available at the time for agricultural entrepreneurs.
He told the Standard that before he was given the grant, he underwent training on dairy goat farming in Dagoretti.
“Before receiving the grant, we were trained and taken to a dairy goat farmer in Dagoretti to learn how he was managing the project. I got basic knowledge on managing dairy goats,” he says.
According to him, dairy goat farming is much easier as it requires less space, and feeding, and the milk from goats is more nutritious compared to that of cows. However, the challenges include: diseases, high prices of commercial feeds and the cost of veterinary services.
Apart from goats, Kevin together with the members of the Huruma Town Youth Group, practice poultry, and vegetable farming.
With most of the farming being done in an 1/8 piece of land, he hopes to own more land in future.
Through the project, the participants were taught on how to pitch, conduct market research and invest in value addition.
He put into use what he learnt and now processes yoghurt, butter, ice sticks and cheese.