- According to the top agriprenuers, you don’t need a large parcel to win and get the coveted chance to auction your cow.
- At the end of the international show, the best of the farmers won, some twice, after they sold their prized animals for up to Sh450,000 to various dignitaries.
- Kenya Tsetse and Trypanosomiasis Eradication Council regional coordinator Moses Cheruiyot said almost 80 per cent of Coast region is infested with tsetse flies.
- The trade fair attracted over 420 livestock from the region unlike last year’s 370.
Some boast big farms while others have small parcels, but the farmers all trooped to the Mombasa Agricultural Show last week with their cows, goats, sheep, bulls and poultry confident of winning in the various categories of the livestock competitions.
Many of the smaller farmers entered a single cow or goat in the competition and the top ones over 20, but what mattered the most was the quality of their animals.
At the end of the international show, the best of the farmers won, some twice, after they sold their prized animals for up to Sh450,000 to various dignitaries.
The Seeds of Gold team caught up with some the farmers whose animals emerged tops at the show. We share their stories.
The father of three from Taita Taveta County saw his Ayrshire named Squta emerge top in the breed category at the Mombasa show.
He later sold it at Sh450,000 during an auction. Kilambo says he started the business with Sh50,000 after quitting employment. But before buying his first animal, he sought lessons at the Farmers Training Centre in Ngerenyi, Taita Taveta.
The cow calved thrice before he disposed of it. Today, Kilambo is a zero-grazing farmer in Wundanyi and owns six dairy cattle; three cows, two bulls and a heifer.
The winning cow was offering him 30 litres of milk a day, which he sold at between Sh45 and Sh60 per litre to locals.
“I am happy that I have beaten large-scale farmers to win in this category. My cow was competing with 80 others,” he said.
The challenges he grapples with include high cost of feeds and diseases such as foot and mouth, mastitis and East Coast Fever. The latter is rampant in the region.
He advises that one must keep the right breed that is resistant to diseases to earn more.
“Feeds are also important. I farm napier grass, maize and other fodder crops on my two acres to ensure my animals are food sufficient,” he says.
During the auction, his target price for the animal was Sh150,000 but he is happy that it was bought at thrice the amount.
“I didn’t know I would win in this category. Squta is two years old. I dispose of my cow after calving three times. Farming pays,” he said, adding that with the money, he will buy two more animals.
He was awarded Sh10,000 for the win and a trophy. He hopes the win will bring in more opportunities.
Anthony Maina, 37
He runs Mavuno Farm, which is located in Kakuyuni, Kilifi County, and has some 50 dairy cattle.
His dairy cow of the Jersey breed christened Tiger emerged the best overall cow at the show.
Maina said he started keeping dairy cattle in Kilifi due to affordability and availability of land. “I am happy with Tiger, which has done me proud. I came to the trade fair with 20 cows and many won in different categories,” he said.
Tiger won the overall tag due to its quality, breed and presentation. “To succeed in farming, you must have the best management, set targets and work hard,” he added.