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4th IeCAB symposium held on 1-15 August 2011 Characterization of dairy cow farms in the eastern central highlands of Kenya Mugambi, D. K. 1, 2*, Wambugu,

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Presentation on theme: "4th IeCAB symposium held on 1-15 August 2011 Characterization of dairy cow farms in the eastern central highlands of Kenya Mugambi, D. K. 1, 2*, Wambugu,"— Presentation transcript:

1 4th IeCAB symposium held on 1-15 August 2011 Characterization of dairy cow farms in the eastern central highlands of Kenya Mugambi, D. K. 1, 2*, Wambugu, S.K. 2, Gitunu, A.M.M 3, Maina, M 4 1 Ministry of Livestock Development, P. O. Box , Kianjai, Kenya; 2 Department of Agribusiness Management and Trade and 4 Department of Agricultural Science and Technology, Kenyatta University, P. O. Box 43844, Nairobi, Kenya. 3 Kenya Agricultural Research Institute, Embu. * 5 Corresponding author Presented at the 4 th e-Conference on Agricultural BioSciences (IeCAB 2011), held online from1st -15th August 2011 at

2 4th IeCAB symposium held on 1-15 August 2011 Background  Dairying is a major farm activity in Kenya, accounting for 3.5% of national GDP and acts as a source of income, employment and food to many households.  Kenya has the biggest dairy herd in sSA  It has a per capita milk consumption of 76Kg against WHO’s recommendation of 200Kg  Kenya enjoys a preferential market access to EAC & COMESA regional trade blocks but does not offer economic milk quantities for sale there.

3 4th IeCAB symposium held on 1-15 August 2011 Background contd…  The country’s per cow milk yield is low (an average of 6Kg) while the per unit cost of production is comparatively high.  Reviewed literature indicates a gap on dairy farm information relating to efficiency of milk production.

4 4th IeCAB symposium held on 1-15 August 2011 Problem statement  Kenya appears not to have taken advantage of having a big dairy cow herd.  Milk consumption per capita is less than half the recommended amount  Country’s milk is not available in the regional market where it enjoys preferential access  The average milk production per cow per day is only 6Kg, and the average cost of production per litre is also high (26% comparatively higher than New Zealand). All this leads to a question on the status of dairy farms in the country.

5 4th IeCAB symposium held on 1-15 August 2011 Study objective  To characterize dairy cow farms in the eastern central highlands of Kenya.

6 4th IeCAB symposium held on 1-15 August 2011 Significance of the study  Policy maker- get suggestions for planning and formulating policies on dairy cow farming.  Extensionists and agri-based institutions-get new information to pass on to their clients  Researchers- to get a base for further research  Generally-new literature to diverse audience on the dairy cow farming in the smallholder farms.

7 4th IeCAB symposium held on 1-15 August 2011 Methodology  Research design- Cross-sectional survey; present oriented, one-time study, describe and explain circumstances as perceived by respondents  Both quantitative and qualitative data was collected  Study site – Embu East and Igembe South districts of Kenya; Similar in agro-climatic conditions, infrastructure, and urbanization but different in farm-gate milk prices.

8 4th IeCAB symposium held on 1-15 August 2011 Methodology contd…  Population and sampling procedures- population to constitute all the dairy cow farms in the Embu east and Igembe south districts in the eastern central highlands of Kenya.  Fischer’s formula was used to determine the sample size.  Local livestock extensionists provided a farmers list from which a computer based sampling was carried out.

9 4th IeCAB symposium held on 1-15 August 2011 Methodology contd…  Research instruments – A semi-structured questionnaire was developed and administered to the farmer respondents  Various interview schedules targeting specific stakeholder institutions was also developed and administered.  Pre-testing the instrument – amongst dairy cow farmers in Embu north district, where the enumerators were also trained.

10 4th IeCAB symposium held on 1-15 August 2011 Methodology contd…  Data collection procedures –Secondary data; reports- Ministry of livestock development, central bureau of statistics, New KCC Runyenjes, and KARI Embu RRC.  Any available dairy farmer’s records.  Primary data; A semi-structured questionnaire and interview schedules were used to generate data and information from the target respondents.

11 4th IeCAB symposium held on 1-15 August 2011 Methodology contd…  Data analysis procedures:  To prepare data for analysis- editing, cleaning and coding was undertaken using Microsoft Excel computer program.  To arrive at various descriptive outputs, the computer software, SPSS program was made use of.

12 4th IeCAB symposium held on 1-15 August 2011 RESULTS  Household source of income rankings: 43.7% dairy cow,; 25.9% salary/wage; 25.9% crop farming; 4.4% Retail businesses  Main challenges faced: 32.6% cost of breeding stock;31.1% cost of feeds;10.4% bad weather Herd size: 4, with 71% having 2-5 Milking herd size: 55.6% have 1 cow Average roughage feeds fed/cow/day: 52.15Kg Concentrate feeds: 2.18Kg/day Mineral supplement: 1.1Kg/month Grazing: 84.4 zero-grazing Chaff-cutter ownership: 23.7% Breed: 73.3% Friesian and Ayrshire Land size: 58.5% have 2 ≥ acres Labour: 2.2hrs/cow/day Education: 77% have obtained either primary or secondary level Group membership: 34.8% Farmers’ age: 55.6% range, 36-55yrs Short dairy course: 32.6% Extension service: 32.6% Cow dairying experience: 5≤ years Future in dairying: 92% to stay Average per cow milk yield: 8.85Kg

13 4th IeCAB symposium held on 1-15 August 2011 Conclusions: The following were some of the issues that came up in this study;  A. Dairy cow farmers had fairly good breeds, but whose average per cow per day milk yield was lower than their potential, which was attributed partly to the low levels of roughage feeds, concentrates, and mineral supplements provided. A large portion of the available fodder was lost mainly at the feeding point. Only a few farmers had chaff-cutters. The dairy herd was poorly housed and thus; feeding and general animal comfort were lower than expected.  B. That the formal education attained, the age and experience achieved, as well as their desire to keep on dairying for life, were not directly useful to the dairy enterprise, and  C. That farmers owned more than one plot of farming land with some far- off from the main household farm, thus raising the cost of roughage feeds.

14 4th IeCAB symposium held on 1-15 August 2011 Recommendations:  A; Farmer  Enterprise specialization; The dairy enterprise would benefit by getting more farmer-produced roughage feeds, as well as general care.  Feeds utilization; the dairy farmer was found not to efficiently utilize the feed resources. Feeding cattle on well-cut materials in a feed trough would increase utilization.  Zero-grazing unit; Seeking and making use of the free dairy extension service by the government would ensure the dairy cow housing units become easy to clean and the cows remained comfortable.  Information for decision making; the dairy farmer has to be awake at all times pertaining to the type, quality, and cost of all commercial dairy feeds.

15 4th IeCAB symposium held on 1-15 August 2011 Recommendations - contd…  B; Government  A new land policy should ensure agricultural land was not sub-divided to uneconomical sizes.  Providing a favourable environment for agri-input consumers; feed milers, distributors, agro-vets, and other input providers require competing fairly, and cartel-like entrepreneurs should not be tolerated. This would ensure both the quality and cost of the dairy cattle-based inputs become available at fair prices.  Public livestock extension staff to livestock farmer ratio; the current staff to general farmer ratio remains at an average of 1:5000, against the required 1:200.  Infrastructure; presence of roads, electricity and milk cooling plants in the milk production areas would go a long way in reducing the cost of cow milk production.  C; Other stakeholders  Learning institutions should be farmer-centered while developing their teaching curriculums and change it regularly so as to match the continuously changing agricultural products’ market environment.  The researchers require focusing on the dynamic farm conditions. The decreasing land size per person for instance, requires fodder types that become resilient to rainfall shortage and diseases.

16 4th IeCAB symposium held on 1-15 August 2011 THANK YOU


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