At 38, Robert Macharia Kinyua is the owner of Mwihoko Dairy Goat Farm. He earns Sh24,000 more monthly rearing goats, a venture he started eight years ago after resigning as a truck driver of COMTECH Telecommunication Corporation.
“I resigned from my job as a driver at COMTECH telecommunication Corporation to start goat farming which gives me Sh54,000 each monthly,” said Kinyua.
Kinyua started with two goats as he wanted a business to sustain his family as he was not satisfied with earnings from his previous job.
“In February 2011, I used the Sh30,000 that were savings from COMTECH to buy two goats and kept the balance for sustaining them in terms of food and medication. The two goats used to give me two litres of milk in a day,” said Kinyua.
In 2014, he sought professional training on goat farming and was lucky to be among those chosen by Dairy Goat Association of Kenya (DGAK) to undergo training at Wambugu Farm in Nyeri.
He bought one goat in 2014 at a cost of Sh20,000 and together the three goats would produce three litres of milk a day serving his three customers with a litre of milk going for Sh70.
The father of five who now has 26 goats, two males and 24 females, milks his goats two times in a day. Out of the 11 goats he milks, the farmer gets 18 litres in one day with a 50 per cent profit at the end of each month.
Kenya alpine goats. (Photo: courtesy)
His main clients are people on medication who have been prescribed to use goat milk as it is rich in calcium, boosts immunity and has zero cholesterol.
“I sell one litre at Sh200 from which Sh100 goes to production cost and the remaining Sh100 is my profit,” Said Kinywa.
The farmer has not bought any goats since 2015 as he prefers breeding them by himself. During breeding, Kinyua gets a pedigree male to serve a pedigree female in order to get high breed offspring. A high breed goat gives good quality of milk and is easier to trace its ancestry compared to cross breed goats.
He runs Mwihoko Dairy Goat Farm alone and does not have employees because his company’s main produce is milk which he says is easier to manage.
The 26 goats which are all of German Alpine breed feed on dry matter and silage which helps him preserve green fodder for use in future.
“I am an urban farmer who is not easily accessed to local fodder that’s why I opt to dry matter and silage. At times I hire a truck to Naivasha at a cost of Sh20,000 per trip to purchase hay and grass which they also feed well. One trip has 200 bales that feed the goats for six months,” said Kinyua.
The farmer’s biggest challenge has been on feeding the goats as local fodder is not easy to find in Githurai 45 and its environs thus prompting him to opt travelling to Naivasha to buy lucerne fodder at a cost of Sh550 per bale and boma Rhodes grass which goes for Sh200 per bale. Lucerne fodder is rich in proteins while boma Rhodes grass is rich with carbohydrates.
What keeps Kinyua going all through this is because he loves what he is doing.
“I’m inspired because I love farming and it is what keeps my family going and pays for my children’s education,” said Kinyua.
He was recognized twice in 2016 and 2017 at the Nairobi International Trade Fair (Nairobi Show), as the best dairy goat breeder and also the best production on goats in 2017.
His advice to farmers who would wish to do start goat farming is that it is advantageous compared to other forms of livestock keeping because it requires minimal space, goat products have good returns, consumes less time and have available and ready market.
In future, Kinyua wishes to expand his business by buying land, increasing the number of goats and producing other goat products apart from milk.
Besides Mwihoko Dairy Goat Farm, Kinyua runs Mwihoko Garbage Collectors, a garbage collection company which has 15 employees.
“It is easier for me to balance work at the two companies because I have an assistant who helps me out in garbage collection,” said Kinyua.
Kinyua can be reached on 0721713887