Given only half an acre of land to establish a business farm most people would simply put away the idea as being not economically viable. I bet you would also do the same but not after you read this success story of Sanla Farm in Ruai.
Sanla Farm is located about 20 Kilometres South of Nairobi CBD. It is one small farm that has lately been attracting droves of visitors and catching the attention of international organisations such as the UN. It was even awarded for being the best farm among the small farms in Nairobi by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), all for a good reason.
Sanla Farm showcases just how much profit potential is in a well managed half an acre plot. On this farm, Nancy Karanja, the owner, has housed 20 high yield dairy cows that produce more than 500 litres of milk every day. On the same plot, she has not one but three 50 by 100 feet greenhouses where she grows tomatoes, kales (sukuma wiki), cabbages and green pepper. That’s not all; she also has a fish pond, a biogas unit, a bore hole and lives on the same plot in an admirable homestead.
From the well organized farming and the many activities on Sanla Farm, Nancy Karanja says she makes a profit of approximately Ksh. 750,000 every month. Such an achievement can surely not go unnoticed and for that reason, Nancy has also won several awards and great recognition.
So how did Sanla Farm came to be?
David Karanja, Nancy’s husband bought the land in 2008 with the sole aim of building a home for his family. Nancy saw the small piece of land as not only one on which she would live but also one on which she would achieve her childhood dream of farming. So she started off with just one Friesian cow that she was given by her mother.
The one grade cow she got from her mother produced only 10 litres of milk per day. Nancy says she always had an irresistible urge to increase the milk production to at least 500 litres per day. So through her efforts and support from her husband, she increased the number of cows to 20 and was finally able to meet her target.
Today, the former accountant that beat the morning traffic jam to the city centre every morning to earn a meagre 20,000 shillings a month, has employed five people, earns like a minister and has become a proud mother of three children with whom she can have all the time she wishes.
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This is just one of the Dairy Success Stories in Kenya that have greatly inspired me. The beauty I saw at Sanla Farm, on which animals, crops and fruits sparkle, existing as though carefully organised by some agricultural angel, triggers in me the same ‘irresistible urge’ Nancy had, to pursue her passion. And the knowledge that a tidy sum of cash will come from it gives all the reason why I will do all I can to follow her advice of being Patient, persistent and consistent. Mayouth tunawasmake doh na dairy!