Dominic a 37-year-old father of five from Esageri division, Baringo County has been in the business of motor cycle operator for over 5 years. With a daily income of Ksh 300, Dominic makes extra money from dairy cows, where he sells milk to Kiplombe dairy cooperative society.
Dominic started contemplating focusing more on his dairy business in 2015 after suffering from multiple ailments that he attributed to his motorcycle business. However, from his small income, he couldn’t raise enough capital to purchase extra cows and build a cow house. He planted maize for silage, with hopes that he would raise extra money.
Dominic’s fortunes changed when his cooperative society nominated him, with other 9 farmers to attend a one-week dairy training. The aim was to develop a team of Service providers that could offer services to farmers at a fee. Commonly referred to as SPE’s, the team are trained to plant, manage, and conserve fodder which include maize, Napier grass, grass and sorghum as silage.
After the training Daniel and his group of 8 farmers started offering their services of silage to farmers from his neighborhood. Part of the proceeds was deposited in a savings account. Four months after training, Dominic borrowed a loan of Ksh 72,000 to buy a chaff cutter and diesel engine to run it. He uses his motor cycle to transport these machines to different farms that require his services. The fact that Dominic is also a farmer who makes silage for his dairy cows has served to encourage farmers to procure his services
Why the business of silage contracting services has great future?
- Silage making is a skill that only a few farmers have. Since more dairy farmers are commercializing, the increasingly understand the need to plan fodder and thus create demand for silage contracting services.
- Farmers who suffered from Prolonged drought witnessed their neighbors maintain high production and earning extra income in the dry season. This is an idea they want to emulate.
- Dominic does not only offer the services to farmers in Baringo County, but also in the nearby counties search as Nakuru.
Dominic charges Ksh 4000 for leasing of his chaff cutter. He further charges for labor at Ksh 600 per day. In 2016, Dominic conserved 184 tons of silage earning him Ksh 150,000. He has completed paying for the loan.
Dominic admits that his life has changed for the better. He can now afford to pay school fees for his children who are all in private schools. He is saving up to save to buy a second machine and invest in improving his farm
Dominic’s work in photos
Making sorghum silage for lead farmer Benjamin Kotut