A look at Dairy Farming in Kenya
Dairy farming is a form agriculture which involves milk production. This can be gotten from goats, sheep cows or camels. In Kenya most of the farmers specialize in cows both pastoralist and zero grazing. In pastoralist the four are involved. In eastern and rift valley this kind of farming is highly embraced. This is where you find farmers keeping flocks of the four animals. Some may be for meet while on the other hand they rear them for milk.
Animals like camel are not commonly kept for milk production in Kenya though their milk is said to be very nutritious as that of goats. In many cases these animals are kept in parks as also for labour and as means of transport. The dairy industry should consider these animals and start rearing them in large scale farming especially in the eastern province. This will cause development, create job opportunities and help the farmers to make money.
Goats and sheep on the other hand have their important except that of meet. Their milk is considered nutritious more tan that of cows. It is said to have no negative impact even when taken in raw form. This means one can get warms like when he or she takes cows milk when it is not boiled. There are various breed which are known to be good for milk production, these includes Saanen, which can produce 3.9 kg per day. Alpines or Germany alpines which produces 4.5 kg per day. Toggenburg which is also an exotic breed and it produces 12.5kg per day. It does well in tropical climate.
Though the production of milk is low in sheep and goats than cows, there are breeds which can produce a lot. This kind of farming is mostly done in central and rift valley province and it is rare. This industry can be expanded if people are taught the importance of it. They also need to be shown how to rear them in zero grazing method so as to get more. They are as laborious as the cows and at the end of the day the farmer will get manure.
The biggest milk production in Kenya comes from cows. There are mainly four breeds reared in Kenya. Friesian is one of them which originated from Netherlands. This is a black and white cow which weighs 700kg when mature, 150cm tall and produces 7800kf of milk per location. It can give six years of good production. Aryshire originated from Scotland and it weighs 540kg when mature. You can recognize it by its red and white colors. It can as well produce 5400 to 7800kf or milk per location.
Guernsey originated from England and it is also a red and white cow in color and it is known in producing high and quality milk than others. It said to give 6650 kg of milk per location and can be kept in warm climate. Jersey also originated from England in the island of jersey, it actually named after the place. This breed has different colors. There are those which are red, mouse or light gray. It weighs 450 kg when mature. It produces 6800 kg of milk per location.
The widely kept breed of cow is Friesian. Its quite attractive to the eyes, large and big. Its milk production is high which adds its value. This breed is widely kept in central Kenya and drift valley where milk production is done. If you compare the two provinces, you will find that rift valley region has large farms for this type of farming and they can do it in zero grazing or pastoralist. Other hand central region has small farms and they do zero grazing which is much better since it helps in disease and pest control and easy method of collecting manure.
It also ensures more mil production since the farmers eyes are on the cows every time. This has become the main business with the number of milk production companies rising in less than every three years. Some of them are known. They pay farmers well and there are easier methods of milk collection from their farms.
This system of farming should be embraced and make Kenya as the key milk producers in the world since we have what it takes. The climate is very favorable for this farming and the breeds plus potential farmers who can help in production and expand the industry.
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