Nakuru hay farmer commended by UK

Nakuru farmer Noah Chemirmir has been highly  commended by the British High Commission for his enterprise that has see him provide hay to dairy farmers in the Rift Valley, Central and Western regions of Kenya at affordable rates.

Chemirmir, through his company Sochon Limited, sells high-quality hay to farmers at KSh150 for an 18kg bale.

“As a result of feeding their cows on this hay, Noah’s customers have reported an average yield increase of 2 litres per cow,” reported the High Commission.

The man

Chemirmir, 37, trained in information Technology at the Collins County College in Texas and worked at a commercial bank in the United States, until he lost his job after the bank collapsed during the global economic recession of 2008-2009.

He returned to Kenya in 2010 and founded Sochon Farm, in Rongai, Nakuru, in he which grows and sells hay to farmers.

 “During dry seasons, I observed, livestock farmers had to walk long-distances to find pasture. I knew there was a better way to keep their animals fed and it was this desire to make things better that led to the rise of Sochon,” he said.

Small start

He started by growing Boma Rhodes grass, which is good for hay in 20 acres of his expansive family land, investing KSh800,000 from his savings into the project.

After harvesting, he baled 10,000 pieces, which he sold at KSh1.5m (each bale was sold at KSh150).

The profits excited him and he kept increasing the acreage under grass cover, and this year he is hoping to plant 700 acres, as he targets to feed the more than 4m dairy cows in Kenya.

Kenya Seed Company also recently signed a contract with him to grow Boma Rhodes seeds for them.  

Bitter lesson

One of the major lessons he has reported from his venture is the usage of high quality seeds, a message he shares with anyone who cares to listen.

 

“In 2011, I made a KSh500,000 loss because I used poor quality seeds and I always advice farmers in the field to go for the best quality because it pays in the long-run,” he said.