Josphat Muiru: How I moved from 1 cow to Producing 320 liters of milk a Day

Josphat Muiru Kimani’s venture into farming remains a decision without remorse, driven by his deep affection for cows, cultivated during his upbringing in a family of humble farmers. His farm, situated in Githunguri Kiambu County, hosts a diverse array of crops, encompassing tomatoes, coffee, sugarcane, and arrowroots, establishing him as a prominent producer of milk and coffee within the Githunguri region.

The roots of Muiru’s agricultural journey trace back to a single cow, blossoming over the years into a herd of 50 pedigrees. This agricultural inclination was instilled in him during his formative years by his father, a prosperous dairy farmer in the locality. Further refining his skills, a visit to a farming exhibition in Nairobi in the year 2000 fueled his determination to establish his own farm and make a mark in the industry.

While Muiru initially thrived as the third top milk producer in Githunguri, with an output of 320 liters per day in 2005, the downturn in milk prices, driven by the prevalence of inexpensive feeds, compelled him to exit the dairy sector. Undeterred by setbacks, Muiru transitioned to coffee cultivation, albeit unable to sever ties with his passion for cows entirely.

After a brief hiatus, Muiru returned to the dairy business, specializing in breeding and selling cows to farmers across the nation. Presently, he milks six cows, with the most productive yielding 30 liters of milk daily, retailing at Sh 50 per liter. The calving date dictates the milk production of each cow, and when the herd expands, Muiru strategically sells some to streamline production costs, fetching up to Sh250,000 per cow.

Muiru employs a meticulous feeding regimen, utilizing nappier grass supplemented with dairy meal and maize germ to enhance milk production. His commitment to organic farming extends to his coffee plantation, where he cultivates the disease-resistant Ruiru grafted variety. The symbiotic relationship between his cows and coffee is evident as he fertilizes the coffee crop with organic manure from his cattle.

In pursuit of optimal coffee yields, Muiru employs foliar spraying on the coffee trees, attesting that a single tree can yield over 20 kgs, which he markets at Sh170 per kg. Muiru Kimani’s journey encapsulates the resilience and adaptability required in the dynamic realm of farming, where passion and determination converge to carve a sustainable niche.