I have been a dairy farmer for long. I had 3 dairy cows before the 2008 drought but I did not lose them during the drought since I had some money to buy them fodder. I was selling 12 litres of milk which I was selling to hotels because they pay promptly.
I knew about fodder conservation but I was not practicing at all but after the drought, I decided that I must begin conserving fodder. Fortunately Intertech held a demo in my zone where I attended and I got a chance to invite them to my farm where they planned to start by conserving what I already had. The group made up of local youth conserved 100kgs of maize stovers and bailed hay. They later conserved 10 tons of silage and they have planned to conserve more in my farm. My plan is to have adequate fodder to last my cows at least two years in case of drought
Now I have six cows but am only milking 3 of them. They were producing 9 litres of milk but after I started feeding them with the treated stovers, their milk production increased to 17 litres almost doubling my income, their outward appearance is much better.
Intertech did the technical work while I employed other local youths to do the manual work. I paid Ksh. 4,500 to two officers of the group who were directing the activity. I will continue conserving fodder with the assistance of this group until my farm workers are able to do it by themselves.
(Moses Kang’au- Leshau Zone)
I have been a dairy farmer for many years and I had 30 cows and calves before the drought letting them graze in the forest and delivering 50litres of milk to Nyala. I was not aware of fodder conservation.
During the drought I lost 12 cows and calves and the milk production dropped to 5litres for I was only milking 3 of them. I realized I had to conserve in case the drought recurred in future and in the process of searching for information, an Intertech officer approached me and explained what they were doing. I invited them to conserve my already grown nappier and we conserved six tones and plans to conserve more later as I continue increasing my acreage on fodder to have more to preserve in future.
Currently I have 20 cows heifers & calves, milking 3 cows and delivering 16 litres to Nyala. I still graze in the forest. Intertech charged me farmer Ksh. 4000 and they brought in the manual laborers (other youth) with them who I paid separately
(Mr. Simon Kinyua – Kanyagia zone)
I have been a dairy farmer for long and before the drought, I had 5 cows and 1 calf delivering 15 liters of milk to Nyala.
During the drought I was feeding my cows on dry maize stovers just to keep them alive. One cow died and I sold and left the others. I realized I had to conserve in future so that the same experience is not repeated. I was aware of fodder conservations but I had not practiced before, I could not do it on my own.
One of Intertech’s member is my neighbor and I invited him to my farm to conserve the already grown nappier. We first conserved 1.5 tons and later 1 ton though I had planned to conserve more but my chaff-cutter broke down two times leaving a lot of nappier un-chopped hence so much was wasted. I have more maize stovers which we will treat later and I plan to conserve more silage once I get a better machine.
Now I have 7 dairy cows milking only one while the others will be calving between January and April. I want to conserve enough fodder to last them at least one year of drought.
The Intertech officer in charge of this zone charged me Ksh. 2000 for the work and I engaged one more manual laborers. My neighbor who was present during the work is preparing his fodder for preservation by the same officer
(Mr. Mugo – Kahutha Zone).