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Markets, best sheep breeds and credit support: Get it fast

Saturday April 12 2014
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Feeding layers: Beginners can get feeds from marketers and pay after selling their birds. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE

Starting dairy farming with best breeds in market

I am a fresh graduate from Moi University with a Bachelor of Business Management, accounting option. I wish to start dairy farming in Kitale, Trans-Nzoia County. I will be happy to get some advice on how to go about it. Also, you can include the best breeds to rear.

Paul Mugo

Mr Mugo, I can give you some basic tips. You require land, labour, finances and a manager to allocate the resources to your production activities.

For dairy cattle, quality and quantity of feeds, water and environment are very crucial. On average, a cow will consume about three per cent of her body weight in feed dry matter and will need water four times the dry matter consumed. So, you need good quality and adequate amounts of feed and water and quality cows from reputable sources.

For the rest, you need guidance on the ground and I advise you to visit a local extension office or Tatton Agriculture Park at Egerton University.

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— Dr James Ombiro Ondiek is a senior lecturer at Egerton University

Marketing of pig products

For sure, Seeds of Gold is my miracle for 2014. I have never missed a single edition and I am not planning to miss any in future. May God bless the team that works on this magazine. I am interested in pig farming, in particular marketing of its products.

I would wish to know how I can reach Farmers Choice for training.

Kinoti Mwebia Lawkin, Meru

Thank you, Mr Kinoti. I advise that you contact the farm manager of Farmers Choice, Dr Sharon Tsigadi. Her email is on the organisation’s website.

Short training on pig husbandry and marketing can be arranged for you at the Department of Animal Sciences, Egerton University.

— Dr James Ombiro Ondiek is a senior lecturer at Egerton University

Credit support

I am Fredrick Mweresa from Kakamega, but I work in Elwak, Mandera County. Thank you for Seeds of Gold. I would really want to keep layers, but my problem is how to feed them before I stabilise.

Is there a way I can be assisted, not necessarily financially, on where to get feeds and pay in instalments. I am hopeful in two years, I would have 2,000 birds.

Fredick Mweresa

What you are seeking is credit feed supply arrangements, if I got you right. This is possible when you enter into agreement with a marketer in need of smooth supply.

Such agreements are possible with supermarket chains, hotels and schools. I advise that you explore that in Kakamega and work with NGOs too. Talk to a livestock officer for linkages.

— Prof Bockline Omedo Bebe, Livestock Production Systems, Department of Animal Sciences, Egerton University

Zero-grazing sheep

Thank you for your informative articles in the Seeds of Gold magazine. The article on Dorper and Red Maasai sheep in the last edition was marvellous.

I have 15 dorpers on a quarter an acre. Initially, I wanted to practise zero-grazing, but I found it to be very expensive and the sheep were not doing well. Some became poor mothers and refused to breast-feed after birth. However, I have not lost hope. I have two things I would like to know.

First, is zero-grazing the best method to rear sheep? Second, where can one get a pure-bred ram? And what is the cost? 

Kibugi Kiamunyi, Nakuru County

Thank you for your interest in Seeds of Gold magazine. If your ewes are refusing to suckle, check for teat infections. It could arise from poor feeding, which does not support lactogenesis and, therefore, needs improvement.

Zero-grazing and feedlot feeding of dorper sheep is more practical for fattening purposes. Dorper sheep are good for mutton. Zero-grazing sheep can be expensive, but could be productive when done well and good quality feed is produced on-farm.

To make economic sense, you will need a large flock of at least 300. The breeding group should be allowed to roam in pasture if land is subdivided into paddocks. Sheep should access fresh pasture routinely to avoid worm burden.

The cost of pure dorper ram with good records of parentage is in the range of Sh25,000 to Sh35,000. Those for slaughter sell at an average of Sh7,000.

Rams are more available than ewes among many farmers as they keep ewes for flock multiplication. Many ranches in Laikipia and Kajiado have dorpers.

Please contact a Rumuruti farmer called Ivan on 0722-527810 for rams at Sh25,000. You may also want to visit Sunset Farm in Njoro whose dorper rams go for Sh20,000.

Please check with Gicheha Farm in Ruiru, Embori Farm in Timau as well as the Kenya Livestock Breeders Organisation at Nakuru showground.

— Dr James Ombiro Ondiek (Senior Lecturer) and Dr Jane Sawe (Lecturer), Egerton University

(READ: The ABC of sheep breeds in Kenya)

Kari improved kienyeji chicken

Please, can I get the contacts of Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (Kari)? I need to buy the Kari Improved Kienyeji Chicken featured in Seeds of Gold.

Anthony Wathome

Thank you Seeds of Gold. I have learned a lot from you. Kindly connect me with someone who keeps Kienyeji improved chicken.

Kemboi Jonathan, Eldoret

EDITOR: You can reach Kari, Naivasha office on 0708620097 or 0708620095

(READ: Improve yields with new Kari ‘kienyeji’ chicken breed)

The market for Eucalyptus trees

I need the contacts of Nelson Mukuna from Thika, who said he had eucalyptus trees for sale. I would like to buy them.

Linus

My name is Nicholas Mwaniki. I am writing with regard to an article that was featured in Seeds of Gold. The article was about a gentleman called Nelson Mukuna from Thika, who has some 90 acres of mature eucalyptus trees.

Could you please give me his contact details? I am interested in the trees. My number is 0722 899330 and e-mail address [email protected]

Nicholas Mwaniki

EDITOR: Contact Mukuna on [email protected]

Cash for meat business

I am based in Westlands, Nairobi, I urgently need your help. Please link me with a financing outlet that can help me get funds, repayable in six months, so that I can start a meat supply business. I have a logbook and a registered business name.

I need the cash to enable me start and move ahead. Most banks and micro financiers are either too rigid or unrealistic in their conditions for credit.

Oscar

EDITOR: Talk to Egerton University on [email protected]

Hydroponics equipment

Thanks a lot for the informative articles in Seeds of Gold. I would like to have the contacts of the people who were making hydroponics equipment. I need to set up something for my mother so that she won’t struggle with fodder for her dairy cows.

Nickson Gatana

EDITOR: You can reach the makers of the equipment through Evelyn Situma 0732718209

(READ: Farming on rocks and metal)

Farming tomatoes and capsicum

My name is Wanjiru. I am writing with regard to your articles. I am a young farmer currently growing maize and beans at Ngoliba on a five-acre farm.

I am interested in growing tomatoes and capsicum. I have already prepared an acre for the pilot project, but I don’t know where to get good seedlings. Please give me contacts and location of MaryAnne Wairimu’s farm in Kiserian so that I can visit her.

EDITOR: You can reach Maryanne Wairimu on 0725208611.

(READ: I saw a gap in seeds and planted success)

Animal feeds

Hallo, I am interested in buying the machine, which converts maize stalk into animal feeds. What is the contact of the company selling the equipment?

Francis Kinyua

EDITOR: You can contact David Macharia for details on 0723447028.

Agricultural training

Kindly give me the contacts of the agricultural training institution in Kiambu County featured last week. Joseph Mureithi, the principal would be a good contact.

Ken Gachuche

We refer to the article that was published last week about the agricultural training centre. We are very much interested and would like to know how much it would cost if we were to send someone for training and the cost of boarding too.

Your assistance on the above will be highly appreciated.

Kassim

EDITOR: You can reach Mr Joseph Mureithi on 25472226235 or [email protected]

(READ: Where farmers walk in and train free of charge)

Strawberry tips

Regarding your article in Seeds of Gold last week, I would like to contact William Njoroge Kibe for some tips on strawberry, as I am about to embark on farming the crop.

John Njoka

EDITOR: You can reach William Njoroge on 0722701237

(READ: Strawberry left me broke, but I picked up the pieces)

Rabbits

Thanks for the good work you are doing. I am interested in rabbit farming and would like the contacts of Mr George Kibanya, featured in last week’s issue.

Mirima Lijodi

EDITOR: Please contact him on 0725893963

(READ: Keep the rabbits, I source for market)

Dairy farming

I would like to get the contact of Sarah Mwangi from Ngong, who was featured in Seeds of Gold early last month.

Stephen Mutuku

I am a farmer and would like to know more about Sarah Mwangi of Ngong. Please give me her contact.

Willy Maiyo

EDITOR: Please reach her through 0732718209

(READ: It pays to insure your animals)

Fruits

I would like to get the contacts of a fruit farmer you featured in Seeds of Gold called Richard Randa from Kisumu.

Kind regards, Michael

EDITOR: You can reach the farmer through this contact: 0723083008

(READ: I wanted to be my own boss, now I am exporting fresh produce)

Ask the experts

Do you have any question or enquiry on agribusiness, marketing, logistics, processing, innovation, and technology? Our pool of experts from Egerton University will respond to your questions with proper advice. Please send your questions to: [email protected]

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