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How a former P1 teacher built a mixed farm empire in Kisumu from Sh4,000 capital

Nyamabaja ornamental birds

Antony tending to some of his ornamental birds at his farm in Dunga, Kisumu County. Photo courtesy.

When Antony Okoth Ogal graduated in 2016 from St. Paul’s Nyabururu Teachers Training College as P1 teacher he knew employment was just around the corner. However, this was not to be as he was forced into hustling jobs which would later usher him into mixed farming, a venture which has seen him create own firm and a youth group for training and mentorship.

“After graduation a was forced into part-time jobs as a teacher in some primary school academies where I would work for a chain of employers making my payments a bit difficult as it had to pass through a series of channels.” Said Antony.

During these part-time engagements in 2017, he decided to spend Sh4,000 part of his savings to buy a buck (male rabbit) and four female (doe) rabbits of White New Zealand breed after learning the art of keeping the animals from a friend. He kept the animals at a small piece of plot in Kisumu.

Within a short period, the female rabbits had given birth to their first generation of over 100 kits and in five months of well feeding and care, they had attained four kilos of live meat.  He would later in the year get a buyer from Nairobi who offered Sh1,000 each.

“My first customer was a doctor who wanted white meat for his diabetic patient and rabbit meat was recommended and that is how I got my market as the doctor needed a steady supply for a given time,” said Antony.

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At the end of the period, he earned Sh100,000 after selling 100 rabbits, the majority being bucks and left 14 does for further breeding. This encouraged him into farming.

Beginning in 2018, Antony parted ways with a teaching job and started focusing on breeding rabbits and giving for free to interested farmers after teaching them on feeding and care. He ended up giving away the 14 remaining animals to 12 farmers whom he would link to markets upon the maturity of their flocks.

He has since turned to local markets to sell rabbit meat as there is a need for enriched nutrition among residents having conducted awareness about the benefit of rabbit meat creating the high demand.

“I no longer far-fetch markets when there is a demand for nutritious food in the surrounding community. Our people need this meat even more, for purposes of food security,” said the farmer.

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He has so far started Nyolo Nyambaja Farm, an Agricultural Company which is also operating as a learning institution and an agribusiness centre at Dunga in Kisumu as its headquarter and Manyatta and Nyakach as branches.

The firm also hosts a youth group, Nyambaja Youth Group which is working on various projects such as aquaculture, poultry farming, rearing of dogs (German Shepherd), dairy goats (saneel breed) and dairy cows rearing.

The group also produces mangoes which they market within and outside Kisumu County.

Currently marketing the company has become so easy with the rearing of ornamental birds such as Bantams, Peacocks, Egyptian Geese, Pigeons, Pecking Ducks, Guinea Fowls, Mallard Ducks, African Ducks, Fantail Doves, Turkeys, Kroiler hens and Ostriches which people come to see and buy.

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“I started with cranes and when I sold them, the money I got I spent on two ostrich eggs I bought at Sh10,000 for brooding. They hatched and now I have two birds hoping they will multiply,” said Antony.

He also has 67 dairy goats which give him over five litres of milk daily. He sells a litre at Sh50. In addition, there are four dairy cows and 54 pigs whose meat is in high demand by various consumers within Kisumu City and beyond.

According to a 2012 research article on Demand for Meat in the Rural and Urban Areas of Kenya published by Hindawi, an Economics Research International journal, consumption for meat as a whole is expected to be more than double between 1997 and 2025 from 5.5 to 13.3m metric tonnes in Africa. This increase is partly linked to what is referred to as the “Livestock Revolution”.

The company can be reached through Email: [email protected] or Phone: +254715831198

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