Dairy practice, KUHN machines

Dairy firms reduces farm prices on glut- via Dailly nation.

Processors have cut the price of raw milk by Sh3 a litre as the market responds to a steep rise in production but retail prices remain unchanged.

Kenya Dairy board MD Margaret Kibogy

The move has upset farmers currently grappling with high cost of production resulting from increased cost of feeds, with some expected to earn as low as Sh26 per litre of milk from an average of Sh38 earned before the review.

The co-operatives where farmers are attached to normally deduct about Sh4 per litre from farmers as administrative fee and transport cost usually charged by the processors.

“Dear supplier, due to market forces beyond our control, raw milk prices have been reviewed downwards by Sh3 per kilogramme from January 21,” reads one of the text messages sent to farmers.

The Kenya Dairy Board (KDB), the sector regulator, says milk production has steeply increased since November last year, prompting processors to review the price downwards.

“There has been an increase in volumes of milk coming in from farmers and this is what has forced processors to adjust the price. It is a case of supply and demand,” said Margret Kibogy, KDB managing director.

Ms Kibogy said the two main firms — Brookside and New KCC — are now processing an average of 1.2 million litres of milk daily from 800,000 litres around November last year.

The price of 500m long life milk is on average still retailing at Sh50 for all the brands while the ones in pouch, for the same quantity, is selling at Sh45 in most retail shops.

Farmers have protested the cut arguing that low prices in the wake of high cost of feeds will keep them out of business.

“This news has come as a shocker to farmers especially at this time when we are grappling with high cost of animal feeds,” says Stanley Ng’ombe, chairman of the Kenya Dairy Farmers Federation.

Mr Ng’ombe says production cost per litre of milk is Sh22.75 adding that the current price makes it hard for farmers to break even.

However, the board puts the cost of production at Sh19 per litre for zero grazing, Sh17 for semi-zero grazing and Sh10 for the open field grazing.

This is the first time in two years that processors have cut the price by a huge margin, after it remained constant for the whole of last year.

The Business Daily was unable to get any response from the processors as phone calls and email sent went unanswered.

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Agriculture

A simple guide on starting your own cucumber farm from scratch

In many nations of the world, the agric sector has been proven to be one of the major income generators. As a matter of fact, no nation can survive without a vibrant agric sector or putting in place a provision for the importation of food for its citizens. So as an entrepreneur if you are looking for a business to start, you can consider starting your own agriculture related business and one of the business you can successfully start is a cucumber farm.

Cucumber is a vegetable that is widely consumed all over the world in different form due to the health benefits it posses; in some quarters, cucumbers are referred to as super – food simply because of the overall health benefit one stands to gain when it is consumed. Some of the health benefits of cucumber are; it is a good source of vitamins A, B1, B6, C and D, it is used to stimulate hair growth and it is also used for the treatment of skin irritation. Cucumber are also effective in the fight against cancer, they are also used in the treatment of diabetes. They can be used to cure bad breath, hangover and to rehydrate the body.

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Statistics as it that cucumber happens to be among the top 4 vegetable that is cultivated and consumed on a global scale. No doubt starting a cucumber farm can be considered to be relatively cheap and it is highly profitable. Now let us quickly consider the steps to follow to be able to start your own cucumber farm from the scratch;
Starting a Cucumber Farm – Sample Business Plan Template

1. Conduct Your Feasibility Studies

Conducting a research and a feasibility study of the line of business you want to start is just the wisest thing to do. There are various species / breeds / varieties of cucumber and there are regions where these species can thrive the most; conducting your own research and feasibility studies will give you the information you need to start your own cucumber farm in the right location. Truly, the report you get from your feasibility studies will give you a clearer picture of the cost implication of starting a cucumber farm and how you can easily attract customers to buy from you once your cucumbers are ready for harvest. One good thing about cucumber is that it can be cultivated all through the year as long as there is adequate supply of water.

2.Write Your Business Plan

Writing a business plan for any business you are about to launch can never be over emphasized. Although the average farmer won’t bother writing a business plan, but the truth remains that if you can successfully draft your own business plan for your cucumber farm, then you will be certain that you will do pretty well with the business. Your business plan will prepare you to run an organized farm. As a matter of fact, with a good business plan, you can easily attract loans from investors and financial institutions to grow your cucumber farm into a highly mechanized farm.

3. Acquire Farm Land in a Suitable Location

Although cucumber can grow in any location as long as there are sunshine, and water supply but it grows very well in a rich humid soil. So if you want to struggle less and save operational cost, it is advisable that you choose a farm land that is located in an area that is humid and highly fertile – a farm land close to a water bed is ideal.

The truth is that if you choose to cultivate cucumber in an area with scarcity of rain and far from a river, then you will spend more on irrigation and operational cost et al. Just make sure that you consult expert to help you with a good location to start your own cucumber farm since you want to cultivate it on a commercial scale.

4. Prepare Your Land and Plant Your Cucumber Seed

Once you are able to secure your farm land, then the next thing to do is to prepare the land before planting your cucumber seedlings. Part of what you need to do to prepare your farm land for the cultivation of cucumber is to clear all the grasses in the land, till the land and apply fertilizer (especially if you are not interested in organic farming) and then dig holes of about 2.5cm deep to plant the cucumber seeds and then ensure that each hole is spaced 40cm apart to allow for good growth. You can also prepare your cucumber farm land (in rows and columns) to allow for easy passage of both human and tractors for the purpose of watering, weeding and harvesting.

5. Harvest and Market Your Cucumber

The fact that cucumbers are generally consumed all over the world because of its health values makes the vegetable very easy to market. The truth is that, you are likely not going to struggle to market your cucumber simply because cucumbers are always in high demand. So all you need to do is to inform locals that you have cucumber to sell and they will come rushing to your farm.

You also have the option to either sell in wholesale or retail your cucumbers in a fruit / vegetable market around you. You can also become a major supplier to companies who are into the processing of cucumbers. Just ensure that your cucumbers are big, green and attractive and you will struggle less to attract customers.

Lastly, you must ensure that you make use of the right pesticide whenever pest attack you cucumber farm so that your cucumber can come out beautiful. Another option that you can choose if you want to go into cucumber farming is to go the organic way. Cucumbers that are grown organically are more expensive than normal cucumber and you stand the chance of making more profit.

Dairy practice

Cattle Housing: Modern Farming Methods

Living place or house of cattle is simply known as cattle housing. Good housing is required for raising cattle. Because suitable housing is needed for keeping the cattle safe from storm, rain, sun, hot temperature, excessive cold climate and other adverse weather conditions. The cattle also need to be kept inside the house if you have not sufficient amount of grazing place. So you must have to make a good house for your animals. You can make cattle housing or mini dairy farm by using proper plan and your local available facilities. This will ensure more profit by investing little capital. Do the followings while making house for your cattle.

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  • The selected place for housing will be higher than other places surrounding the house, so that you can easily remove rain water and other materials.
  • Soil of the selected place will be fertile and enriched with sand and must have to be dry always.
  • Ensure the entrance of sufficient air and light inside the house. Because sunlight helps to dry the house and help to prevent germs or virus.
  • South faced houses are very comfortable for the cattle.
  • It will be better if the houses are not surrounded by many trees.
  • Don’t let the house to damp anyhow.
  • Make a proper drainage system inside the cattle house, so that you can easily remove excreta and trash. Excreta and trash are suitable place for mosquito, flies and other parasites or virus and your cattle can get affected by various types of diseases easily.
  • You can make a simple cattle house by using bamboo pillar, straw and roof of leaves.
  • You can also make the house by using tree pillar and with a roof of tin. In this system, you have to make a ceiling under the roof to keep the cattle free from hot temperature.
  • It will be better, if the houses are surrounded by bamboo or net fence made with strong wire.
  • Keep 5 squire miter space per cattle inside the house.
  • Keep a separate place for rearing calf.
  • Don’t make the floor of the house smooth.
  • Always clean the floor and never make it slippery.
  • Make the house in such a way so that it become a safe and suitable living place for the cattle.
  • The height of the house will be about 9 to 10 feet.
  • Always keep sufficient amount of drinking water inside the cattle housing system.
  • Keep some free space inside the house for freely movement of the animals.
  • Try to keep the house dry, neat and clean always.
  • Keep the excreta and trash of cattle in a separate place, slightly far from their house. These materials can be used as fertilizer in the crop field.
  • Make proper supply of fresh and clean water inside the cattle housing system. Also ensure a good water source for washing the cattle, house, equipment etc.

House Construction

Cattle house are made depending on weather condition, geographical position and economic condition. Cattle housing design varies from region to region. So there are no proper cattle housing design which are appropriate for rearing cattle worldwide. Farmers of different countries make different types of cattle house which are suitable for them. On an average cattle house are of two types. Open housing method and fixed cattle housing method.

Open Housing Method

In open cattle housing method, cattle are kept inside the house for whole day except milking and delivery time. But in adverse weather conditions like storm, rain, hot or cold, they are moved to a safe place. A cattle needs about 3.5 to 7 squire meter place in open cattle housing method. This type of houses are suitable for big sized calf and non milk productive cattle. Almost all types of animal can be kept in this house. Open housing is suitable for all locations throughout the world. But the design of the house can be different depending on the excessive hot or cold areas.

Fixed Housing Method

In this method the cattle are tied up with rope and the rope obstructed with a pillar. Feeding and milking process done in the same place. Try to clean the house regularly and make the house in such a way which is very comfortable for the cattle. Fixed cattle house are of two types. One row and two row cattle house.

  • One Row Cattle House: This type of houses are suitable for little number of cattle. Make the house according to the number of your cattle. A cattle needs about 165 cm standing place, 105 cm side place and 75 cm feeding pot. Make partition with iron pipe to separate the cattle from one to another. The partition pipe needs to be 90 cm long and 45 cm in height.
  • Two Row Cattle House: This type of houses are suitable for commercial cattle farming business. The animals can be kept in both face to face and opposite to each other system. In face to face system, cattle are kept in two rows faces to each other. Food pot are kept between the two cattle row. In this system the cattle need about 5.5 feet standing place and 3.5 feet place in side. In opposite to each other method, cattle are kept in two rows. Their mouth faces to outside. Keep about 4 feet place between the two row. In this method each cattle will require about 5.5 feet place.

Keep the cattle house dry and clean always. Remove the excreta from house frequently. Do this at least twice a day. If the house become unhealthy and damping, then the cattle will get affected by various types of diseases easily. So it will be better if you make concrete floor inside the cattle housing system. Don’t make the floor slippery. Make a drainage system inside the house to clean the house properly.

Dairy practice

The world’s first floating dairy farm will house 40 cows and be hurricane-resistant

A Dutch company is set to debut the world’s first floating dairy farm near Amsterdam.

A high-tech, multilevel facility will soon be floating in the water in Rotterdam, located roughly 50 miles outside of Amsterdam. Minke van Wingerden, a partner at the property development companyBeladon, told Business Insider that the 89-by-89 foot farm will produce an average of 211 gallons of milk each day.

The facility will have 40 cows, which is fairly typical for a small dairy farm in the Netherlands.

floating dairy farm
Photo//courtesy

Van Wingerden and her husband, Peter van Wingerden, came up the idea after a business trip to New York City in 2012. Hurricane Sandy hit the city during the visit, flooding Manhattan and knocking out power for many residents. The storm quickly made it difficult to buy fresh produce, as thousands of food delivery trucks were unable to reach their destinations.

Beladon decided to search for a way to help cities produce food close to where residents live in order to better withstand supply chain disruptions. Eventually, the company moved forward with designs for a farm that could float on water.

The idea adds to existing innovations in urban agriculture, including rooftop and warehouse farms. Floating farms, Minke van Wingerden said, can adapt to changes in the climate and be hurricane-resistant.

“You go up and down with the tide, or the water, and it has no influence on your food production, so you can still make fresh food in the city,” she said.

The farm’s bottom level will feature machinery for processing and packaging the dairy. The cows will be on the second level, along with robots for milking. Beladon will use the third level to grow clover and grass for the cows to eat.

The farm will also recycle as much as it can, van Wingerden said. For example, the cows will be fed with various waste products from the city, such as grains left over from local breweries and by-products from mills. Beladon will also process the cows’ manure and sell it as a natural fertilizer.

After launching the Rotterdam project, van Wingerden said Beladon will work on opening more floating farms. Beyond producing dairy, the company is designing floating chicken farms and floating vertical farming greenhouses. Van Wingerden said she would like to open farms in Singapore and China soon, and the company is in talks with another Dutch city for a second farm.

She and her husband also believe that new communities should be built with food access in mind. The area by the Rotterdam harbor, for example, is on track to be filled with residential spaces and offices in the next several years, and Minke van Wingerden said food production should be at “the heart of that community.”

Rotterdam’s port authority initially had some reservations about Beladon’s farm, voicing concerns about the smell and noise. Van Wingerden said the manure will be removed quickly from the farm by robots, which will reduce any bad odor associated with the farm.

As for the cows making noise, van Wingerden said there is not much they can do.

“Some people are afraid what’s going on, but on the other hand there are also [those] who cannot wait until the first cows come in,” she said. “They are very much looking forward to see a cow here in the harbor.”

Dairy practice

DAIRY GOAT PRODUCTION

The increasing human population is leading to increased land pressure. Consequently the smaller land sizes cannot support dairy cattle, making the dairy goat a better option. As a nation by promoting dairy goat’s production we will be addressing the millennium development goals of Alleviating extreme poverty and hunger. Goats are a good pathway out of poverty for smallholders. The high quality of goat’s milk addresses malnutrition at the household level.

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Advantages of Rearing Dairy Goats

There are many advantages that can be realised from keeping the dairy goats. These include

  • Have a superior production capacity than a cow. A dairy cow is bigger in size and therefore requires more feeds, water, mineral salt and labour than the dairy goat
  • Can be reared in urban and peri-urban plots. This is because the faecal consistence (pellets) is easier to handle and dispose than the bulky cow dung of the dairy cattle
  • Requires relatively smaller space than a dairy cow
  • Dairy goats are much easier to convert to money than a cow
  • Dairy goats are less vulnerable to diseases especially tick borne diseases e.g. anaplasmosis, babesiosis and is not susceptible to ECF
  • Goats are fastidious feeders as a result they are the last animals to die from drought.
  • Goats consume a wide variety of grasses, weeds and small branches of bushes and trees. They also act as scavengers consuming discarded leaves peelings and roots of vegetables, husks of corn, citrus and banana peeling and other waste plant residues that would otherwise cause pollution

Other Products

Other products include. castrates, culls, breeding stock, and skins.

By-products

Include; Hooves , manure, bones, horns, blood

Opportunities

  • Availability of goat rearing space.
  • High demand for goat’s milk.
  • Availability of goat’s semen at CAIS.
  • High nutritional and medicinal value of goat’s milk.
  • Highly trained personnel are available.
  • Credit facilities available.

Cultural issues

In some communities goat’s milk is not acceptable. Though this is changing with time, there is need for concerted effort from all the stakeholder to promote consumption of goat’s milk.

Training

To support the development of goat enterprise training of farmers on Dairy goat husbandry is essential and dissemination of information on available opportunities