Kenya’s dairy sector has tremendous potential for growing the economy, job creation, and boosting food security.
The sector contributes about 14 per cent to the agricultural GDP, and 4 per cent to the countries’ GDP. The demand for packaged milk and milk products is also steadily rising.
However, the sector is faced by challenges including low milk production volumes that is correlated with poor cow productivity.
Low productivity is in turn associated with animal genetics, weak animal husbandry practices, and inadequate farm infrastructure for animal health and nutrition.
The Kenyan dairy farming community is thus researching, evaluating, and adopting cutting edge international innovations and solutions to address the challenges across the dairy value chain.
The Irish are respected globally as pioneers in the dairy sector, and it is no surprise that Kenyan partners and Irish companies are collaborating to provide viable solutions to Kenyan dairy farmers.
World class animal nutrition
Nutribio, is a leading animal nutrition product developer and manufacturer from Ireland, with a dedicated team of nutritionists, who have produced world class animal nutrition products for over 30 years.
Through its parent company, Cooperative Animal Health, it developed a relationship with Norbrook in Kenya in 2017, to better understand the challenges faced by Kenyan Dairy farmers and to provide solutions.
Cooperative owned by farmers
According to Richard Lynch, Nutribio’s sales and marketing manager, “Nutribio fully appreciates the farmers plight as our organisation is a cooperative owned by farmers. Our heritage is a foundation that ensures that the farmer is at the centre of our ambitions. Essentially for us, if the farmer succeeds then we all succeed.
We understand the challenges that face farmers every day trying to balance the variation in prices they achieve for their quality produce versus the ongoing rising costs. Armed with this understanding, we use our knowledge developed over generations to provide the right solutions for our clients.”
Following engagements with farmers, Nutribio developed Milk Booster Nutrilick to improve milk production for allfarmers. Nutrilick has successfully increased the daily yield per cow at a cost effective return for the farmer, and, on average they achieved an increase of 2 litres per cow per day, approximately 600 litres more milk per cow per annum.
“I have been using the Milk Booster Nutrilick for 3 months. In that time, their fertility was super and all my animals came on heat. The high levels of energy in the block have given me an extra two to three litres of milk. The product is extremely palatable and my animals look shiny and happy. There has also been a reduction in the amount of concentrates I was using, from 12kg to five to six kilogrammes, which saves me money while improving my profits,” Mr Lawrence Njuguna Munyua, a Kiambu County farmer says.
Available in Kenya
Milk Booster Nutrilick is available nationwide in Kenya, and our ongoing collaboration between Nutribio and Norbrook in 2020 involves a study on the growth rates of calves in Kenya. The aim is to create more value for the farmer by getting their calves to a weaning weight earlier than is currently being achieved.
This will result in an increased value of calves and larger volumes of fresh milk for the farmerr. Nutribio aims to have the new product ready for launch in 2021.
The Nutribio and Norbrook partnership, and their engagement with farmers, illustrate how Kenyan and Irish collaborations in the agri-sector are innovating to meet famers needs.