From failing crops to a thriving dairy business

‘Welcome to my farm’, says a proud 79-year-old Bernard Mutisya. ‘I’m blessed with six daughters and a son, and we have grandchildren too.’ 

‘I used to keep five indigenous cows that each produced two litres of milk per day and I grew some crops like maise. But my crops regularly failed due to severe drought. Then I received commercialised pasture and dairy farming training through the Farmer Field School project. I set aside two hectares of land to use as pasture and I sold the native cows and bought three Ayrshire cows. Our farm expanded thanks to the training and extension options we received, and we started to grow drought-resistant grass and crops for silage’, explains Bernard.

‘Now we have twenty cows: seven lactating cows, four calves and nine heifers’, says Bernard’s wife Philomena. ‘We produce more than 50 litres of milk each day, which we sell to Kitise Farmers’ Cooperative Society’, adds Bernhard as he continues their story.

‘We are grateful to Dorcas for supporting the installation of a mini-processing plant at the cooperative society where the milk is processed into yoghurt and a local dairy product mala. Thanks to the plant, I have a reliable market for my milk and a good income. That means I can now invest more in our dairy business to create opportunities for my children and grandchildren. My dream is a more mechanised farm that can produce homemade supplements, including dairy meal, maise germ and maise bran. And I’d like to have more pasture, improve my dairy breeds and hire a qualified vet’, concludes Bernard enthusiastically.

This impact story was first published in 2023.

06 June 2024

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