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Margaret Ruguru: Local Milk Seller Now Running a Fully Fledged Milk Processing Company

Margaret Ruguru is a dairy farmer from Murang’a County.

She has been in the farming business for over 20 years, and ventured into milk processing after working at one of Murang’a’s dairy cooperatives.

Today, Margaret is big into value addition and now owns Sky Blue Farmlands, a yoghurt processing company.

Here is her story as told by WoK.

Margaret ventured into dairy farming over two decades ago when she was employed at a dairy cooperative in Murang’a County.

While she was running the venture as a side-hustle, she had no difficulty with selling her produce as her job gave her a marketing niche.

“I started with one cow and over time the heard grew,” she expressed.

Margaret’s side-hustle was picking up well but things took a drastic turn when she lost her job at the cooperative she was working at.

She also suffered another blow when a buyer whom she was supplying milk to cancelled her contract forcing her to sell milk locally.

“The hotel management claimed they had a lot of cows calving, so the milk problem was solved,” she recalled.

Margaret would try to sell 200 litres of milk to local buyers but without a significant market, it meant a lot of milk would go to waste.

It was then, with the help of Murang’a County Livestock Development, Margaret was introduced to value addition, opening a new chapter for her venture.

“An officer who later became my mentor connected me with Mariira Agricultural Show Farm, a facility that offers training in dairy production including milk processing,” she said.

In 2016, Margaret alongside 50 other farmers were trained on how to make yoghurt in collaboration with Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT).

After acquiring the skill, she partnered with her husband to start a yoghurt processing company they named Sky Blue Farmlands.

With the processing plant, Margaret was able to reduce losses arising from failure to sell excess raw milk significantly.

The couple produce two probiotic yoghurt flavours, strawberry and vanilla, which trade under Highlands Yoghurt brand.

She makes both normal and probiotic health yoghurt in 150ml, 250ml, 500ml and one-litre packs.

The company is situated on a 100 by 80-metre plot of land which houses the processing plant, cows, improved indigenous chickens, fish and some fodder crops.

Margaret sells her dairy products to supermarkets and foods and beverages outlets.