In 2012, Michael Murigi Kariuki an accountant by profession started dairy farming as a side hustle to supplement his income. The venture currently earns him Sh120,000 monthly and has helped him fulfilled his childhood passion.
“Seven years ago I bought a quarter of land at Thindigua, Kiambu County at Sh10m obtained from my savings on my consultancy job, my initial plan was to build my home but opted for farming instead, this is a decision I do no regret to date,” said Kariuki.
He started off with pig farming with an initial capital investment of Sh300,000 using the cash to build pig houses and bought two female pigs.
He later sold the off the pigs for Sh380,000 and bought four heifers, two Friesian dairy cows and two Ayrshire at Sh55,00 each which were serviced through artificial insemination. Since then he has never looked back, his farm now has 18 cows and he is expecting to make the herd bigger.
He has however faced a huge challenge on feeds.
“I found out that commercial feeds were not of good quality enough and this affected the growth and good health of the cattle. I have therefore decided to produce my own feeds as a cost cutting measure,” said Kariuki.
He grows boma Rhodes and sweet potato vines and makes three to four kilos of concentrated dairy meal a day. He also gives his cows maclick salt supplements.
Kariuki feeding his dairy cows at his farm in Kiambu. Farmbiz Africa
The United States International University International lBA graduate has big plans for his farm. At the moment the he find market locally from Thindigua residents who source the milk directly from his farm. He produces 57-60 liters of milk per day and sells 70 shillings per liter. This translates to Sh119,700 to Sh126,000 monthly income.
Kariuki’s calves feeding on sweet potato vines. Farmbiz Africa
Kariuki plans to process his own yoghurt in in two to three years and produce biogas for domestic use since he intends to build his home next to the farm.
According to the 2019 Economic Survey by the Kenya National Bureau of Statisics, the quantities of milk delivered to the dairy processors increased by18.4 per cent from 535.7m liters in 2017 to 634.3m liters in 2018. The quantities of milk and cream processed also recorded an increase of 10.6 per cent from 410.6m liters in 2017 to 454.1m liters in 2018. In addition, processed butter and ghee; and cheese recorded increases of 10.8 per cent and 15.5 per cent, respectively in 2018.