Njeri Gota is a recognized dairy farmer in Nakuru County. She has made very good steps in turning her diary farming activity into a profitable business. The lady runs a dairy farm that occupies a 300-acre piece of land. She currently has over 100 heads of high breed dairy cows. She milks 35-40 animals at any time as the rest are calves and heifers. With that, she is one of the major sellers of milk to Brookside.
So how did Njeri Gota start dairy farming in Nakuru?
She confesses that having grown up in Nairobi, she did not have any interest in dairy farming. After graduating from Siriba Teachers College and teaching for a short time, she started a Pizza shop in Nakuru town. However, together with her siblings, they practised horticulture at the farm which lies about 15 kilometres from Nakuru town. Then she thought of dairy farming and just gave it a try. That is when she realized how much she loved keeping animals and decided that if it could also give her a little more money, she would take it up as a business.
How did she win the dairy farming awards?
Since she realized that she not only loves dairy cows but can also make money from them, Njeri runs her farm as a business, giving it her all. She sold her Pizza business in town so that she can go full time into dairy farming. She has employed several people to help in the production of feeds, which she does right at the farm. The farm grows yellow maize, sorghum, sunflower, turnips and Rhodes grass for the cows. They have tractors for ploughing, planting and harvesting. That earned her the best dairy farm in the province award.
Modern dairy farming
Njeri Gota practices modern dairy farming saying that this business is no longer for the poor and old as people used to think of it. To be successful in dairy farming, one has to take it seriously and make use of modern techniques and equipment. She says that one of the challenges that the dairy sector in Kenya is facing, especially in Nakuru, is lack of high quality semen. To ensure that what she gets the best of this, she imports it from UK or Holland and that made her scoop the best dairy cow award.
Her advice for start-up dairy farmers in Kenya
Njeri identifies one major problem facing dairy farmers in Nakuru County as overproduction of milk during the rainy season. She advises the secret to beat this odd is to control milk production such that you have moderate production during the rainy season and maximum production when there is a shortage of milk. You should also think of value addition, for example by making yogurt which can be done at home.