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Ruiru farmer taps demand for goat milk in urban areas

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On just a 50×100 piece of leased land in Ruiru along the Eastern Bypass, Charles Macharia, known as Macharia Wa Hay, keeps chicken, ornamental birds, stored hay, and his prized 30 goats. 

From them, he milks 18 liters daily retailing at Sh200 a liter. Being in a peri-urban area he says has given him a leg up on his competition as the milk he produces isn’t enough to satisfy his demanding clients.   

The former dairy farmer, who keeps another 100 goats in Mûkûrwe’inî, Nyeri County, from which he gets another 70 liters daily, explained that he made a conscious effort last year to harness the sprouting demand for goat milk which is prized for its numerous health benefits and fetches a premium, especially around Nairobi and its environs.

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The milk from his goats in Ruiru is sold to households in his neighborhood while most of the 70 liters go to a cheese-making boutique eatery in Westlands.

“I pivoted from dairy to goats in 2015. This is because they are less intensive and cheaper to rear. The market for goat milk is also undersupplied,” said Macharia.

Also a hay wholesaler, he never lacks fodder for his goats. However, this need not deter any potential farmer because the maximum amount of dry matter they can consume in a day is three kilograms.

This is supplemented by about 500 grams of concentrate for the top producers (4/5 kg).

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“I stick to dry matter feed; hay, lucerne, silage with pollard, soya, and maize germ as concentrates,” he illuminated.

The breeds of goats in his herd include the Toggenburg, British Alpine, German Alpine, Saanen, French Alpine, and Kenya Alpine. This he sells as weaned, served, and unserved doelings for between Sh8,000 and Sh20,000.

Macharia Wa Hay: 0722587140

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