News and knowhow for farmers

Western Kenya dairy farmers bank on brewery waste to save Sh50, 000 animal feed costs a month


Dairy farmers from Western Kenya region are saving up to Sh50, 000 cost of dairy feed per month by feeding their animals on Wet Brewer’s Grain (WBG) which has seen the producers spend Sh20 against Sh350 per animal per day when using commercial feeds.

Julias Onyancha, a dairy farmer based in Kisii County says a kilo of WBG commonly called ‘machicha’ retails at about  five shillings while commercially made animal feeds retail as high as Sh70 per kilo which is a huge difference.

Onyancha who has five animals, say each animal consumes four kilos of ‘machicha’ per day as compared to five kilos per day per animal when feeding them on commercial feeds.

According to him, he would spend Sh1, 750 per day feeding all the animals but with WBG, he is only spending Sh100 per day for all animals saving a whopping Sh1, 650 per day.

“I could spend a whooping Sh350 per cow per day but with the WBG, I only spend Sh20 per animal per day,” he said.

“This has helped me save up to Sh1, 650 per day amounting to averagely Sh50, 000 per month,”

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Dairy farmers in Kenya face major challenges including the ever skyrocketing cost of animal feed which Leads to low milk production hence little or no profits from the venture.

According to a research by Kenya Agribusiness and Agroindustry Alliance (KAAA), the major challenge facing dairy farmers in Kenya is expensive feeds and supplements- due to the high cost of producing commercial feeds.  This makes it quite expensive for any dairy farmer to largely depend on the same. Regular fresh fodder is also an issue depending on which parts of the country farmers are based.

WBG have high protein content rated at 27 per cent, a 20 per cent much higher than other commercial feeds which only have seven per cent protein content.

Onyanja says the farmers’ source for the WBG from the Kenya Breweries Limited (KBL) at cheaper price as converting the wastes into feeds also help the company in decomposing its wastes.

According to a research by Kerela Veterinary and Animal Science University, Wet WBG contains 74 per cent of moisture and 27 per cent protein content which increase milk production by up to 20 per cent.

“The experimental group results revealed that there was highly significant increase on milk yield per day when WBG was included in the lactating cows ration at 20 per cent DM replacing cattle feed dry matter quantity proportionately compared to other rations,” said the research.

According to the Kenya Dairy Board, Kenya produces estimated 5.2bn liters of milk annually against a demand of 5.3bn liters.

Dairy farming is the single largest sub sector of agriculture in Kenya. Dairy cattle population is estimated at 4.3m kept under extensive, semi- intensive and intensive systems of production.

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