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Cotton Farming: Why President Uhuru Wants Kenya to grow GMO Cotton

cotton

President Uhuru Kenyatta has asked technocrats to look at the possibility of Kenyans growing genetically modified BT cotton.

If Implemented, Kenya will become the first in East Africa to grow GMOs in open fields, and fourth in Africa after South Africa, Burkina Faso and Sudan.

The launch for commercialization is expected in January 2019, while farmers are likely to plant their first BT cotton seeds in March.

The development follows the recent approval for national performance trials for BT cotton by the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA).

Already, the Kenya Agriculture and Livestock Research Organization (Kalro) has planted the first BT (Bacillus thuringiensis) cotton in open fields for environmental testing in Kibos, Kisumu in the west of the country.

“We expect that in the next seven months we shall have sufficient data from the field trials for scrutiny by the various government agencies including Nema,” said the director of Horticulture Research Institute at Kalro Dr Charles Waturu.

The president instructed the ministries of Health, Agriculture and Trade, Industry and Cooperatives to come up with a quick mechanism for the revival of cotton production, including the possibility of farming BT cotton as part of measures to restore the dwindling sector.

How To Establish An Arrow Root Farm

Agriculture Task Force to Look Into Cotton Farming

At the same time Uhuru directed that a second taskforce be constituted to address woes facing maize farmers and find a lasting solution to the issue.

The taskforce will be led by Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri and Uasin Gishu Governor Jackson Mandago.

President Kenyatta made the announcement during Mashujaa Day celebrations at Bukhungu Stadium in Kakamega town.

This directive comes in the wake of protests by maize farmers who have not been paid for deliveries to the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB).

The board, which manages the strategic reserves of the staple food, ran out of cash it was allocated because it paid brokers who supplied it with cheap maize from Uganda at the expense of Kenyan farmers.

Get Over Ksh 700,000 from an acre of Hybrid onions in Kenya

The disillusioned farmers are still holding on to about 500,000 bags of last season’s crop estimated to be worth Sh1.6 billion while NCPB owes them Sh3.5 billion for maize it purchased from them for the strategic reserve.

While speaking in Kakamega, President Kenyatta warned that stern action would be taken against NCPB officials who engage in corrupt practices involving cartels.

He also warned that stern action would be taken against corrupt officials who authorised the payments to brokers, leaving farmers in unnecessary suffering after toiling to earn a livelihood from the cash crop.

 

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Hydroponic production farm tour and training – 17th October 2018

Hydroponic farming

TRAINING SCHEDULE AND WHAT TO EXPECT

What is the meaning of hydroponic
What are some of Importance/advantages of hydroponic over soil culture

 

Introduction to the different Hydroponic Systems which include:

  • Hydroponic Fodder System
  • A-Vertical System
  • Deep Water Culture System (Floating Raft System)
  • Trough (Media Based) System
  • Nutrient Film Technique (NFT) System
  • Strawberry Towers

Fodder System

  • Procedure of Growing Hydroponic Fodder
  • Feeding Ratios to different Livestock
  • Structural Considerations

Deep Water Culture System

  • Materials Consideration
  • Crops Suitable for the system
  • Nutrient Solution Management
  • Spacing Versus Crop Production

A-Vertical System

  • Advantages + Challenges
  • Crops Suitable for the system
  • Nutrient Solution Management

Trough System

  • Structural Consideration
  • Crops Suitable for the system
  • Nutrient Solution Formulation
  • Drip System Maintenance
  • Temperature + Humidity Levels

 

Also Check from our events

NFT System

  • Structural Consideration
  • Crops Suitable for the system
  • Nutrient Solution Formulation
  • Temperature Levels
  • pH and Ec Levels

Strawberry Towers

  • Structural Consideration
  • Nutrient Solution Fertigation Schedule
  • Temperature Levels
  • pH and Ec Levels

Contact us for details, bookings and any clarification
John Kiruthi: 0790-509684
David Gitonga: 0722-481838

 

Check more on hydroponic farming

 

 

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hydroponic farm tour

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DAIRY GOAT – Farm tour & training 10th November 2018

Our November farm tour and training will focus on DAIRY GOAT FARMING as business in Kenya. The training will be held at Shamba Dairies – one of the leading and well managed dairy goat farm in Kenya.

The farm located in the heart of Kangema town is the home of 40lts of dairy goat milk per day, with the champion goat producing 5litres of milk per day – a feature many dairy goat farmers in Kenya dream off.

The farm has three breeds of goats namely Alpine, Toggenbergs and Saanens.

Shamba dairies is among the few farms in Kenya that completes the entire value chain, It has a small yoghurt processing unit fully dedicated to goats’ milk yoghurt production.

Feeding, which they mostly grow on the farm includes proteins such as desmodium, lucerne, calliandra, green leaves, which is constantly in their cages.

This tour and training offers those with an interest and new entrants to goat farming an opportunity to learn the success behind Shamba Dairies.

 

Read Also: How to make Silage for your Dairy Cows in Kenya

 

The event is organized by Farmers Trend in collaboration with Oxfarm Organic. We are dedicated in promoting agri-tourism in Kenya, showcasing the success of this modern farms that started from a humble background.

 

Contact us for details, bookings and any clarification
John Kiruthi: 0790-509684
David Gitonga: 0722-481838

 

See more details on the poster below

 

 

About Dairy goat farming :

 

 

Pictures

   

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Mkulima Wa Nyeri: “Future Billionaires will be Farmers”

mkulima wa nyeri logo

Mkulima wa Nyeri farm is a department under OxfarmAg ltd founded to provide the seedlings, learning experiences and fresh fruits for eating. The farm was founded by Dickson Kahuro Wambugu (Mkulima wa Nyeri) after graduating from Moi University in 2015 where he studied Agricultural Economics and Resource Management.  With a passion for farming he started by growing grafted tree tomato and pepper to get exposure as to what agricultural venture practically tastes like.

It’s through this exposure that he got the idea of supplying seedlings after getting many farmers in need of information with huge demand of quality certified seedlings.

Youth And Agriculture

Many Kenyan youth just like Mkulima wa Nyeri find themselves in a dare situation after graduation, with few prospects of formal employment. But even though agriculture has been a mainstay of Kenya’s economy for as long as the country has existed, unlike Mkulima Wa Nyeri, very few youths consider turning to agriculture as a source of livelihood.

The key challenge, therefore, is how to get our youth into an industry as old as civilization itself, a sector so critical that recently President Uhuru Kenyatta pronounced agriculture and food security as one of the four pillars of his platform to continuing Kenya’s emergence as a middle-income country.

The solution to this challenge lies in our appreciation of a few salient facts. Most notable is that over 60 per cent of Kenya’s estimated population of 48 million are below the age of 30. Of this considerable cohort, an overwhelming majority are either unemployed or underemployed, and this despite being well-educated.

Quite a few, perceived or real, discourage the youth from getting involved in farming. The main challenges among many is capital and market access restrictions.

Given that agriculture is a devolved function, it is obvious that while the central government can only do so much to make agriculture attractive to and viable for the youth, counties have a major role to play. Nyeri County Under H.E Gov, Mutahi Kahiga is not left behind and it has been at the forefront in promoting the youth in agriculture and farming in General.

In a highly contested competition in farming organized by Ministry of Agriculture at National Level, under the youth category, Mkulima Wa Nyeri emerged as winners in the entire county. Mkulima wa Nyeri farm in Tetu Nyeri was named as the best managed Farm under youth Category.

According to Mkulima Wa Nyeri, every young person aspires to see themselves break even and turn into millionaires one day. However, the millionaire status is one that often proves too elusive to many. Otherwise, it is possible for anyone to invest, work smart and turn their ventures into a money mill.

 

Adding Value to Agriculture Through Grafting

Mkulima Wa Nyeri a trained Agronomist, after planting ungrafted tree-tomato felt the heat after all his crops under one acre were damaged by nematodes. He later decided to try the grafted variety after deliberating with some few local farmers who had been doing it but under small scale basis. After intensive research, Mkulima Wa Nyeri realized that when tree tomato was grafted with Muthakwa (bug weed), it does very well as Muthakwa is resistant to many problems that affect Tree-Tomato as shown in the table below.

 

Grafted Vs Un-Grafted Tree Tomato
Grafted Tree-Tomato Ungrafted Tree-Tomato
  • Resistant to Nematodes
  • Prone to Nematodes
  • Extended Economic lifespan of more than 6 years
  • Shorter Economic lifespan of one years
  • Has a Tap-root
  • Has Fibrous roots
  • Larger fruit
  • Smaller fruit
  • Drought Resistant
  • Affected by Drought
  • Disease Resistant
  • Highly affected by diseases

 

Cost and Returns Of Grafted Tree Tomato Under Mkulima Wa Nyeri

With a good spacing one acre can accommodate 1500 plants

ITEM DESCRIPTION UNIT PRICE (ksh) TOTAL (ksh)
MANURE ONE BUCKET PER HOLE @30 45000
SEEDLINGS TREE TOMATO 1500

 

@100

 

150000
DIGGING OF HOLES, TRANSPORT OF MANURE TO THE FARM, MIXING AND PLANTING. @30 45000
FERTILIZER DAP 75KG

CAN 200 KG

70 PER KG

70

5250

14000

PESTCIDES ENTIRE GROWTH SEASON 30000
FUNGICIDES 30000
LABOUR, WEEDING, PLUNNING ONE FARM MANAGER FOR 9 MONTHS @7000 PER MONTH 63,000
IRRIGATION WATER COST.  VARY FROM AREA TO AREA 50000
 MISLENEOUS  20000
 

TOTAL COST

 

450,000

Cost per plant 450,000/1500=ksh 300/plant

Expected Returns From An Acre Grafted Tree Tomato

For a well-managed grafted tree tomato, it can produce 25-40 kg of fruits per plant per year. It can produce the fruits throughout the year and it has a life span of more than six years. The grafted red Oratia tree tomato variety matures in 8 months to one year after transplanting depending on area.

Return from the first year of harvesting.

No of plants Quantity in kg (ksh) Price per kg (ksh)

Average price

Total for one year (ksh)
1500 25 80 3 millions
1500 40 80 4.8 millions

Average expected return from a tree 3500000/1500= Ksh 2300 during the first year of harvesting.

YEAR OF PRODUCTION

No of plants

Quantity in kg (ksh)

Price per kg (ksh)

Average price

Total average for one year (ksh)

2nd

1500

35

80

4 million

3rd

1500

35

80

4 million

4th

1500

35

80

4 million

5th

1500

35

80

4 million

NOTE:

Due to its ability to be resistant to most soil pest and diseases grafted tree tomato trees has a lifespan of more than 5 years. The profits above are from the first year of harvesting. Full productivity starts from the second year. With good management tree tomato fruits can produce fruits throughout the year ensuring stable consistent monthly income for 5 years. Tree tomato is normally harvested after every 2 weeks.

The cost of farming tree tomato may vary from individual because of variables resources like manure, labor and water. It’s always advisable to plant during the rainy season in case there is limited irrigation water. Plants also require a lot of water during fruiting. An acre can accommodate 1500 plants at a standard spacing of 5ft by 5ft.

Tree tomato farming requires intensive management due to continuous splaying against pest and diseases, irrigation, and feeding.

Oxfarm Partnership with Tamarillo Farm Kenya Ltd

We have partnered with a value adding company Tamarillo Farm Kenya Ltd. We are in need of huge supply of tree tomato fruits every week which can only be sustained by serious farmers under contract agreement. We have products like Tamarillo Juice, Tamarillo Jam, Chili etc. which have got huge market demand.

If you have large quantity of fruits, kindly contact us.

 

FOR CERTIFIED QUALITY SEEDLINGS CONTACT US ON

0706 222 888 / 0723 662 773

 

External Services Offered By Mkulima Wa Nyeri

Mkulima Wa Nyeri farm under the company OxfarmAg Ltd, offers different services to help young people and established farmers accomplish their goals. OxfarmAg Limited an agricultural company and Mkulima Wa Nyeri assist farmers in many ways. They have introduced several Packages under different tree fruits where they embark on planting and monitoring the farm for the farmers. For example, you can have your tree-tomato farm established at the comfort of your office. All what you need to have is a shamba, manure and money to fund the project; Oxfarm will do the rest.

The package entails;

  • Farm visit to conduct feasibility study
  • Soil testing and interpretation
  • Digging of holes
  • Manure application and mixing
  • Planting
  • Monitoring for three months
  • Marketing

At Mkulima Wa Nyeri Farm in Nyeri, you can learn different things at a small fee; you will be trained on;

  • Seedbed and nursery management
  • Hass Avocado Propagation
  • Organic Farming
  • Tree-tomato Propagation
  • Tree-tomato caring and management
  • Farm management
  • Book keeping in the Farm, e.t.c

Make every rain drop count, plant a tree-fruit today and help us conserve the environment, earn a living as well as feed the nation. Most farmers have booked their seedlings and so should you. Let nothing come between you and farming if you are the one! Farming only requires passion and a dream, a dream that out of farming you can actually earn a living and become a millionaire, as Dickson (Mkulima Wa Nyeri) keep on Saying “future billionaires will be farmers”.

 

Contact Mkulima wa Nyeri on 0723 662 773

FOR FIELD VISITATION, CONSULTATION AND SEEDLINGS

 

You can fill the below form to contact you later

 

 

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Best Agribusiness For the Youth to Engage in Kenya

Kenyan’s full potential in agribusiness remains untapped to an extent. Challenges that agriprenuers face include middlemen, weather and climate change, and low investment in the sector contribute much to what impedes the sector’s full potential.

Both the private and the public sectors should invest heavily in this wonderful sector, and the government shouldn’t be left behind. It’s disheartening that lending institutions such as banks easily give loans to real-estate investors yet find it hard to offer the same services to farmers, fearing the risks involved yet every undertaking has risks.

Other challenges include, poor quality farming inputs as well as pests and diseases that hamper farming. In order to cut middlemen, farmers should form saccos and cooperative societies through which they can market their produce without exploitation from middlemen and easy purchase of raw materials and farm inputs.

How to Cushion yourself from climate change?

Over reliance on the natural rain is a key in heightening the adverse effects of climate change on agribusiness and agriculture.

Reliance on rain-fed farming is key in heightening the adverse effects of climate change on agriculture and agribusiness. Investors in the sector should spend on modern innovative methods of farming such as using greenhouses, different forms of water-efficient irrigation, and artificial weather-controlled environment farming, among others.

Lets take for instance 2018 long rains, the rains were too much that Kenya even experienced flooding in some areas, in such days, farmers can collect water and store in dams, ponds, tanks and other similar water storage facilities. This always comes handy in dry season when they need the water for their crops and other uses in the farm.

Why you should have a working business plan for you to succeed in commercial maize farming

 

Benefits of investing in agribusiness

In agribusiness, you can as much as a million if you do it right. A tiny country like Netherlands feeds its population and still remains the second largest exporter of agricultural and horticulture produces.  Such an economy obviously has the benefits trickling down to farmers, which makes them rich. Agribusiness essentially is a rewarding sector.

Best Agribusinesses to engage in, in Kenya

First of all, youth should be attracted to farming and agribusiness. Greenhouse farming is among the best to start with.  Crops such as pepper, capsicum and tomatoes, among others, are good to start with. Bamboo farming is another good venture to invest in as the plant is versatile and never lacks markets. Pig keeping is yet another important project which youth can invest in.

Pig farming is another lucrative business to think about. For instance, Netherlands, a small country with a population of about 17 million people, has up to 10 million pigs, showing how important pig-keeping is important to the country’s economy.

Top 10 tastiest and rarest fruits in the world

Then there is hass avocado farming, which is among the most productive ventures globally at the moment. At Oxfarm we have a package that guarantees you money through hass avocado farming.

 

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What Is the Difference Between Agriculture And Agribusiness?

Agriculture involves the cultivation of crops and the raising of livestock for food, the most basic of human needs. The first ecologists, farmers, understood the interaction of soil, water, grasses and trees; they understood the need to work with nature to produce sufficiency or abundance, and to try to avert scarcity in times of drought or pestilence. Agriculture dictated the survival and development of societies, and security in food allowed the growth of modern industrial states.

In today’s interdependent and technological world of global markets and distribution systems, agriculture has become an essential element of national and international economies. Food is a commodity for trade, and food security is a matter of global concern. The future security of the world’s food supply has focused international discussion on one over-arching question: Can agricultural systems meet the demands of a rising world population and expanded expectations on the one hand, and deal with the deterioration of land and soil resources on the other?

Read: How youth you can succeed in farming

Many scientists today believe that modern agricultural practices, which have increased efficiency and production to an extent unknown in history, now appear to be exhausting the agricultural ecosystem. A movement towards more sustainable agricultural practices has begun. On the other hand, agribusinesses point to new science and technology based on genetic engineering and other methods that may revolutionize the food industry.

Kenya, rich in resources, has always been a major exporter of food. Kenyans, like other societies, have seen farmlands and farm communities as part of their environmental heritage, national identity and culture. But in today’s world of supermarkets, fast foods and freezer containers, where food is available to all who can afford it, many urbanized Kenyans have lost the connection between the food they eat and the land that produces it, not recognizing the profound changes that agribusiness has brought to farming communities, the farming way of life and the environment.

In recent years, concerns about pesticide use, biotechnology and other issues have focused public attention on the quality and safety of food and industrial farming techniques, and spurred interest in alternatives. Resolving issues regarding the sustainability of Kenyan agriculture will involve a new recognition of the integrity of nature and ecosystems and the wisdom of farming methods in harmony with the local environment, while at the same time utilizing the best national and international science and technology to maintain food security levels and meet the challenge of rising populations and deteriorating land and soil resources.

Read: Should I quit my job and start farming?

Players of Agribusiness in Kenya

From Sugarcane farming in the western region to tea farming in the Western Kenya region, livestock keeping in northern Kenya, maize farming in the north rift and fishing in the Indian Ocean, smallholder producers face more or less the same hurdles to wealth creation. The good news is that opportunities exist to make farming, including the small-scale types, a profitable venture for anyone. One of the ways of bringing shine to the much-neglected sector is by adopting sustainable agribusiness.

Agribusiness is a broad area and covers the entire spectrum of food production with multiple players along the value chain. It includes farming, the supply of various inputs, distribution, processing, wholesale and retail sales, research and development, marketing and financing as well as the end product: the food on the plate of the consumer.

The key players in the value chain include the farmers, co-operatives, regulators, government agencies, research institutions, companies, business associations, financial institutions, multilateral bodies, civil society, and the academia.

Sustainable agriculture is not singularly fixated on the profit motive. It considers the socio-economic, environmental and cultural impacts of various activities along the value chain. It supports the local economy through knowledge transfer, job creation, supporting local enterprises and ensuring food safety and security.

The academia can play a crucial role in promoting sustainable agribusiness through carrying out research on new ways of doing agriculture such as better and eco-friendly ways of increasing the soil fertility, increasing animal produce, among other things.

There are various businesses that do a lot with regard to promoting sustainable and inclusive agriculture. There is also a need for improvement in infrastructure, climate change mitigation and adaptation, research and extension, value addition and skills upgrading.

As long as funding remains limited or is diverted by officials, farming will remain unattractive and farmers will continue to suffer in spite of their toil. Lack of trust across the value chain is another issue with many farmers perceiving middlemen as exploiters. The other key aspect is the imbalance of trade between Kenya and its trading partners. Take for instance, coffee and tea which are grossly under-priced with farmers barely meeting the cost of their investment.

Yet the same commodities fetch better prices once they leave the farmers’ hands. The widespread failure to add value to farmers’ produce denies producers the opportunity to earn the true value of their produce. It also denies local entrepreneurs and budding industrialists the opportunity to grow new lines of business and create jobs for many jobless Kenyans. Value addition requires policy intervention through a favorable tax regime, lower cost of power, improved infrastructure and government commitment to find markets outside its borders.

Read: I don’t have capital to start my agribusiness venture how do I start from scratch?

Kenyan farmers and especially the youths are urged to indulge in farming and more specifically agribusiness. Do it for fun and money!

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I don’t have capital to start my agribusiness venture how do I start from scratch?

Starting an Agribusiness in Kenya with no capital is one of the most difficult and frustrating thing. The Kenyan government on paper has placed many avenues that are meant to help the youth in farming but they rarely work. In most cases you will apply only to realize much of your time has been wasted but nothing of value has come out of it. This normally leaves most of the youth frustrated and hopeless with nowhere to turn to for funding. So what can one do in order to start agribusiness without capital or with little capital?

  1. Start Small

We always urge people to start small. By so doing you will be able to use the little resources you have to start small and grow naturally. After a while, you will look back and thank God and time for what you will have become. In addition, you will have build-up enough experience that will help you to even come up with custom made solutions to help you with farm problems.

  1. Grow what you know

We advise you not to venture into farming practices that you are not well familiar with. Always ensure you have done your research well and you have all the knowledge and skills at your disposal. This will enhance your chances of success in the agribusiness you want to venture into. In addition, it will reduce the outside help that may have increased the expenses into the agribusiness. In most cases, having the knowledge and experience in a certain farming venture is all it needs to succeed.

  1. Market your Agribusiness

Spread the word to your family, friends, colleagues and anybody you know about your new agribusiness. Send e-mails, call and make your new business known in all your social media platforms. Your family and friends are the first priorities and they might help you spread the word. This method of marketing can help you to introduce your agribusiness to a much greater audience. When it comes to harvesting, your contacts will have the information of what is coming their way. This means that when a friend or a contact hears anybody asking for a product that you produce, they will just give your contacts.

  1. Avoid too much expenses

When you start your farm in Kenya, you are going to have plenty of expenses, and there are some that just can’t be avoided. What you can avoid though is overspending. For example if you want to plant Cabbages and you do not have money to buy the expensive hybrid seeds, why don’t you instead buy the normal seeds and save the money. By doing this you will have enabled yourself to spread out your money and buy other farm implements that will be required during the growing period e.g. insecticides, fungicides and D.A.P. Being frugal in the beginning can be the difference between success and a failed agribusiness.

  1. Work Hard

 Hard work is an absolute necessity, but when you are starting an agribusiness venture in Kenya with little to no capital then you must be prepared to dedicate everything you have into making the farming business a success. This might mean planting and taking care of the crops yourself, handling marketing, dealing with billing and accounting, and every other working part of your business. You will wear many hats and it will require the majority of your time and energy if you are to make it.

Agribusiness is not hard neither is it simple. It requires patience and dedication. Stay focused, try and do agribusiness that doesn’t require much money but keep your eyes on the ball.

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The Future of Kenya In Farming Is Not Agriculture But Agribusiness

Kenya is a farm lover’s dream: abundant uncultivated arable land, tropical climates that permit long growing seasons; a young labor force; and an expanding population that provides a readily available market for produce consumption.

Yet, Kenya is yet to harness these opportunities to ensure sustainable food security and food production. The average age of farmers is about 60 years—in a country where 60% of the population is under 35 years of age. Farmers are also less educated, with younger, more educated Kenyans are leaving rural areas, where farms are located, and moving to cities.

Some of these youngsters are also discouraged by the difficulties of accessing funds or land, the reliance on manual technology in smallholder agriculture, all compounded by the low and volatile profits.

But to remedy these issues, a new report suggests government should change their outlook on agriculture from a subsistence, daily activity into a commercial enterprise. The African Center for Economic Transformation (ACET) says focusing on the entire value chain of the process—land tenure, farming technology, markets, and pricing—would help transform food systems around the continent. Positioning farming “as a business and entrepreneurial endeavor” would also help draw younger people into the practice, and make them see it as less of a “cool” idea and more as a “career option.”

Agribusiness is one of the few sectors that can create the quantum of jobs needed for Africa’s youth.

This marked transformation could be instituted by boosting productivity within the farms and bolstering the link between the farms and other economic segments. For instance, strengthening land tenure privileges ensures the rights of women and minorities and increases the formality of property rights.

Related Content: drip irrigation in fruits

Use of Technology

Technology and mobile phones should also be increasingly adopted as a way to not only to reach farmers, but also as a mechanism for data collection and analysis on soil conditions, fertilizer application, and climate change. Mechanization should also be expanded in order to ease the back-breaking manual labor and increase yields.

And just like in the modern workplace, the report notes that women should be put on an equal footing with men in order to drive agricultural transformation in Kenya. In Kenya, we still have laws governing marriage, divorce, and inheritance, which still put a barrier against women land ownership—and hinder them from using their plots as collateral for loans.

Oxfarm Organic Ltd deals with tree fruits. For more information visit our offices and we will help you start that orchard you have been longing for. Book Now!

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How to do a profitable zero-grazing

Many dairy farmers have raised inquiries concerning the most effective practices for a profitable zero-grazing enterprise. Dairy farmers ought to perceive that zero-grazing is different from zero feeding.

Many farmers have incurred huge prices in putting in place zero-grazing enterprises however have ended up failing miserably. Influential leaders haven’t been spared either. And all this is often because of an absence of understanding of the pertinent needs for a profitable zero-grazing investment.

Zero-grazing or stall feeding is essentially confining animals in an exceedingly stall and feeding them there. There’s minimum movement of cows because they’re not allowed to graze within the fields and so the term zero grazing. Several dairy farmers in Kenya hold the zero-grazing model of farm production attributable to the various advantages accruing from it. Issues like shortage of pasture, low productivity of dairy cows, caliber fodder, prevalence of diseases and lack of cash are handled during this system of farm production.

The zero-grazing unit

Zero-grazing unit aspect elevation

Zero-grazing
A farmer milking his cows (Source: Farmers trend)

Cows are unbroken and fed within the stall all year. The positioning where the unit is constructed determines the potency of operations throughout the zero-grazing enterprise. It ought to be close to as potential to the supply of forage to scale back labor prices of carrying the cut grass to the cows and carrying manure back to the farm. Zero-grazing needs an increased level of labor input, due to the requirement to chop grass daily. The time demand is about three-man hours/cow/day. Proximity to the homestead in respect to the biogas plant is additionally a very important thought.

The quality and amount of construction material ought to be assessed completely to work out the smallest amount potential value whereas maintaining quality of the house. Quality materials that are regionally accessible will greatly scale back prices. The cow shed should be practical, low cost and long lasting. The selection of a skilled worker is vital as a result of plenty of high-priced material may be wasted by hiring a foul skilled worker. Note that the foremost expensively engineered stable isn’t perpetually the most effective and most economical one. Farmers are advised to use recommended zero-grazing housing plans.

Improved dairy breeds

In order to extend milk production, you would like to target fewer, higher fed and higher quality animals. Stock the units with dairy cows that are bred specifically for milk yield. Vital dairy breeds of cows in Kenya for high-milk yield are Jersey, Ayrshire, Guernsey, milk cow and Sahiwal.

Maintain the farm breeds by upgrading your stock through AI exploitation tested dairy-bull semen. choosing sensible cows and culling non-playacting ones let alone sensible calf rearing for replacement stock ought to be an integral part of the system.

Adequate forage resource base

Grassland management and adaptability are the keys to the effectiveness of this method. Planning is vital to confirm there’s perpetually adequate forage accessible for the animals. Zero-grazing will offer opportunities for herd growth by increased forage utilization or through accessing land on the far side cow walking distance for grazing. Assume commercially and recognize the most forage production potential of your farm holding and therefore the potential quantity of off farm forage accessible to your herd in an exceedingly given year. This may change you to work out the most range of animals your zero-grazing enterprise can support. The quantity of forage, if obtained inside or outside the farm, is really the one most resource that determines the quantity of cows or animals which will be sustained within the unit because of.

  • In feeding the cows the forage to concentrate quantitative relation cannot surpass 60:40 %. A quantitative relation of 70:30 is suggested.
  • Forages take time to ascertain as hostile concentrates which might be purchased on demand.

Elephant (nappier) grass (penisetum puperum) grass is most well-liked because the main fodder crop as a result of it’s advantage of being comparatively simple to grow and re-grows apace when cutting. Different helpful crops or grasses are fodder maize and fodder sorghum. Opt for the foremost appropriate fodder to your section.

Replenish soil fertility by utilization of all manure on the Napier crop each two to three days. Apply four luggage of fifty kg of fertilizer NPK fertilizer (20-10-10) per acre per annum. This could additionally apply once establishing different quite fodder. Harvest the mature Napier grass when it’s mature to 60-90cm tall. The aim should be to supply the best quantity of dry matter (DM) per unit area of fodder.

Plant 0.75 – one acre of Napier grass per mature cow and her offspring.  A daily intake of 75-100kg of recent grass/cow may be achieved with sensible management to give a dry matter intake of 14-16kg/day. A recent weight intake of 100kg/cow/day would be needed for 15kg DM of grass.

Become brilliant at manufacturing and preserving feed for the season to confirm that milk production is maintained at a gentle rate throughout the year. one in all the best issues is providing sensible quality feed to the herd throughout the season. Dig a silage pit to store and preserve animal feed. Learn to store grass to be used throughout the season by creating your own silage and fodder. The increased utilization of off farm fodder will provide a rise of stocking rate on the farm. You’ll be able to get or rent additional land for animal feed or purchase feed from neighbors.

Related Content: make money through passion fruit farming

Feeding

Cows fed to capability on grasses alone have the potential to supply up to a most of seven kilos of milk per day. Extra milk is supported by concentrates. Keep in mind that it’s pointless to feed supplements once forage needs don’t seem to be met.

Give concentrate supplement because the main supply of energy and energy. Most farmers like giving farm meal to the cows at milking time. Supplement at a rate of one kilo for every 1.5 liters of milk the cow produces on prime of the seven kilos of milk contributed by grass. Different concentrates like edible seed cake, cotton seed cake and bran are accessible. For instance, farmers say that the employment of brewer’s waste as a feeding supplement, ad lib, will increase milk production by seven liters per day.

But the foremost vital factor is to own your ration formula right. Ration formulation could be an advanced method and any farmer cannot simply bed. You may want the talents of skilled professional to return up with the proper mixture of the feeds accessible to your cows. Invest in an exceedingly chaff-cutter to mill crop residues for feed so nothing goes to waste. Cows should have adequate feeding house, and wastage should be monitored, to confirm feed intake is maximized. Wastage ought to be but five-hitter, and refused material should be far away from the feeding space daily, as this can decompose rapidly.

Innovative dairy farmers have come back up with home-mix farm rations. An example composition of a one hundred kilo of home-mix farm ration is forty kilo flower cake, forty kilo maize grain, ten kilo sorghums, five kilo Glycine max beans and five kilo dried cassava chips. The mixture is dried and processed. Farmers who use this home-mix state that they get double as much milk from their home combine as they are doing for constant amount of purchased business dairy meal.

Mineral lick ought to be offered to the cows ad libitum within the mineral box. Water ought to be accessible throughout the day because it makes most of the milk.

Stable manure production

Manure ought to be treated rigorously to reap most get benefit from it. Manure contain high content of organic matter and minerals that improve soil fertility so forage yields and is supply of material for biogas production. Cover the manure pit to stop nitrogen losses.

One cow will produce up to twenty tons of compost per year depending on accessibility of crop residues. Twenty tons of compost contains close to eighty kilos of nitrogen, forty kilos of phosphate and ten kilos of hydroxide. If valued against current fertilizer costs, this composition is valued at KSh. 2000.

The manure made from three cows is comfortable to supply the quantity of gas required for cooking and lighting within the farm.

Oxfarm Organic Ltd enlightens modern farmers on the best farming methods. We also have a variety of seedlings which we sell at affordable prices to our customers. Book yours now!

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Kiwi-Fruit Farming: New Money Maker for Farmers

A kiwi-fruit costs more than KSh 100 in Kenyan supermarkets today. Have you ever asked yourself why Kiwi-Fruit is that expensive?

Kiwi-fruit as we have said in our earlier posts is an amazing fruit with amazing benefits. A customer who had eaten Kiwi-fruit in U.S.A visited our offices earlier last week seeking to know where he could get seedlings. He told Oxfarm that he has never eaten a fruit that is so delicious and with so much benefits like a Kiwi-fruit. His worry was why Kenyans are still importing Kiwi-fruits while they can grow it in their homes.

Where to Grow Kiwi-Fruits

Kiwi-Fruit
Kiwi-fruit Farming

Kiwi is a temperate fruit that can do well in the temperate regions of Kenya like, Western, Central, Rift Valley, Upper eastern and Many other places. It’s also hardy and can tolerate extreme cold and extreme hot temperatures but being favored by warm climates.

Kiwi-fruit is known to do extremely well in almost any soil but it prefers well-drained that has a PH of 5.0-6.5. Kiwi-fruit does not need much fertilizer and as Oxfarm we discourage use of fertilizers since exposure to a lot of fertilizer results to burning of the roots, therefore, you simply need to use compost manure.

Due to its shallow rooted nature, it requires frequent irrigation for maximum yield. This property also helps the tree to absorb water fast in areas with little rainfall hence surviving such climate.

Commercial Kiwifruit farming in Kenya

Kiwi-Fruit Marketability

As I had said earlier, Kiwi-fruit is very expensive in Kenya. This is so because the demand is higher than the supply. Although Kiwi fruit is a new thing in Kenya, people have embraced it and the market is not shy as well.

As we have continued to preach the kiwi-fruit gospel; its benefits and farming methods, people have heard us and although a few farmers have started planting and selling the fruit, more people are demanding it. The average kiwi vine takes 2- 4 years to mature and start producing fruits.

The first few harvests may however not be as productive but this tends to improve throughout the plants mature life. Once you taste it, you will need to taste again. However, its yet to pick on commercial scale. This gives you an opportunity as a farmer and a business man. Take the advantage of the low supply and the high demand, plant more supply more and reap big.

 

What to Invest in Kiwi-Fruit Farming

At Oxfarm, we are known to have almost all kinds of tree fruits seedlings. We have looked at you as a farmer and we have made it possible for you to have Kiwi-fruit seedlings at an affordable price of KSh 400.  We will also take you through kiwi-fruit management practices. Basically, all what you need is a land, seedlings, enough compost manure, trellis (same as those used in passion fruit farming).

Returns to Expect in Kiwi-Fruit Farming

Approximately, one acre of Kiwi-fruits carries about 650 vines. The first few years as we said might not be as productive but the third – fourth year ought to produce around 20 fruits per vine. The current market price for a kiwi-fruit is more than a 100 but let’s use KSh 50 as selling plice to the market.

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Note! The production increases with time and you might get as many as 50 fruits per vine. What are you waiting for? Contact Oxfarm. We will be glad to assist you make money.