A University of Nairobi graduate is milking at least Sh30,000 monthly from dairy goat farming after shunning cattle, which are the most preferred investment option for many.
Mwendia Gitonga says he saw goat farming as a less competitive option, but more profitable.
The farmer started off with only our dairy goats in 2010, but his stock as increased to 24, and still growing.
“Farming has been close to my heart since I was young. I did not want to dive into a flooded market of cattle rearing. That is how I settled on goats, because of its popularity for higher nutrition than cattle,” he says.
The Animal Production graduate gets at least 25 litres of milk from 13 goats, which he sales at Sh65 per litre.
This amounts to Sh48,750.
“Every day I keep getting new customers. I have never satisfied the demand. I give priority to regular customers. Am looking into expanding this enterprise. It is not economically sane to 'send away money' when we are working hard to earn it,” he said.
He says running this agribusiness does not tax him much. Between Sh18,00 and Sh20,000 from the sale of milks is sufficient in running the business per month, unless there is an emergency.
Besides, dairy meals, Gitonga feeds the goats on green matter, which enrich the nutrient content in the milk.
Given that goats are natural browsers, the greens reduce the dairy meal to about 70 kg per week.
The feed costs this Nyandarua County-based farmer between Sh1,800 and Sh2,100, depending on the supplier and type.
At the same time, he sells billy goats whenever they are born, which occasionally earns him more cash.
A few benefits
Fat chains in goat milk are said to be smaller than in cows. This makes it a better option for children whose digestive system has not reached complexity.
A study the Prairie View A&M University says this milk boost the body's ability to metabolise iron, copper and other nutrients more-so in individuals with digestion and absorption challenges.
People who develop mucousal allergies after consuming cow's milk are likely to suffer from the same with after consuming the product from goats. Goat milk does not cause irritation of the gut, which triggers secretion of mucous.