Small-scale farmers turn to silage making to boost returns

Written By: Pauline Ikanda/ KNA

Small-scale farmers turn to silage making to boost returns
Ongoing process of silage making at Saboti.

Dairy farming is turning out to be a profitable venture for both small and large-scale farmers in Trans Nzoia County as more farmers venture into the practice.

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The need to have quality feeds is also pushing many farmers to take to silage as a source of nutrition for their animals.

Trans Nzoia County for many years has been well known for maize production for commercial purposes producing almost 4 million bags annually with most of the cereals being sold to other counties and sometimes for export.

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The trend is however slowly changing as many farmers venture into dairy farming.

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The latest venture in the county is silage making that has been embraced by farmers in an effort to increase milk production.

According to Andrew Khaemba, a production manager at Yellow Grove Farm Limited, technology has made it easier for farmers to make quality silage with individuals and companies venturing into the practice.

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Small-scale farmers turn to silage making to boost returns
Yellow Grove farms limited director Mr. Yebeltal Getachew during an interview with KNA at the Saboti farm .

Khaemba says harvesting maize corn at the right time gives silage quality and all the nutrients needed by animals. corn silage preserved at between 60 to 70per cent moisture, according to Khaemba generally provides good silage fermentation and animal performance.

“The harvesting time is critical as it influences the overall quality of the product and on the whole, the moisture content affects silage fermentation and preservation,” he says.

The Groove Company has invested heavily in equipment that harvest and also bales the silage to further achieve quality. The high compression silage bailing equipment used by the company has the capacity to bale up to 10 tonnes a day.

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According to the Yebeltal Getachew, the founder of the company, they are targeting small scale farmers in the country to improve their milk production.

“The small-scale farmer is having challenges in milk production because of insufficient land to make silage and lack of resources,” he observes.

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