GFAR blog

YAP Proposal #172: Umoja dairy goat project (Philip Kabiru, Kenya)

KabiruPHilipI’m Philip Kabiru from Ngiroche sub-location, Gichugu constituency, Kirinyaga County in Central Kenya. I am 35 years and I am passionate about change.

Dairy goat farming has been taken up in many parts of Kenya as an alternative income and food source. Rearing dairy goats has been proven to reduce livelihood vulnerability through enhancing resilience of communities and food security. Dairy goats require fewer resources to maintain but give higher returns per unit area as compared to dairy cattle.

Increasing pressure on land and water resources, changing economic and climatic conditions and bad pricing of livestock present developmental challenges for developing countries. Within these countries, intensification of livestock production using more productive livestock genotypes has been advocated as a means of improving livelihoods (Freeman et al; 2007, Sere et al; 2007). However, successful dairy goat improvement programs are limited in Kenya.

Successful livestock improvement programs focusing on low-input production systems are possible using a community-based approach. Through strong capacity building initiatives at the grassroots level, producers can be empowered to undertake a dairy goat improvement program suitable to their local conditions.

According to estimates, the dairy sub-sector is a major source of livelihoods for over 1,000,000 smallholder producers. The sub-sector provides employment to about 365,000 people along the milk value chain and contributes approximately 3.5% of Kenya’s GDP. The sub-sector is characterized by smallholder producers mainly producing cow’s milk.

However, due to inefficiencies related to smallholding, dairy goat production has been introduced as a viable alternative. Dairy goat production faces myriad challenges related to breeding, husbandry and marketing. The project is possible because of a committed pool of dairy goat farmers with previous experience, a pool of improved goats that can be used as a foundation stock, dairy goat farmer groups, relatively high levels of literacy and eagerness to learn.

KabiruPhilip (2)There are a number of opportunities such as emerging markets for dairy goats and goat products, a health-conscious milk market, diminishing land sizes and a developed milk industry with creameries that are willing to process and market dairy goat milk. At the same time, there are a number of shortcomings such as gaps in training (especially regarding feeding and breeding), retrogressive breeding techniques (genetic potential of bucks untested), lack of a reliable and uniform breeding record system, limited local tailored technologies for dairy goat production and low levels of milk production.

These problems are due to low levels of producer-market communication, decreased interest and biased target groups; past programmes neglected progressive, resourceful farmers and concentrated on low income farmers, thereby reducing the adoption rate). The goal of this initiative is to increase the income of rural agricultural households that depend substantially on the production and trade of agricultural/livestock produce.

The business model aims at supporting a market-oriented dairy goat enterprise. Farmer groups that participated in previous programmes will be the initial focus. Training on husbandry, breed improvement through artificial insemination, registration and milk recording will be the initial activities. Through the groups, farmers will be able to access services such as training, artificial insemination, animal health, agro-Inputs and extension.

Appropriate breeding technologies, local availability of good quality dairy goats, optimal management packages, good nutrition, value addition, marketing options and housing are immediate key issues that need addressing to achieve the potential value of goat milk. These are initiatives that require a good understanding of local situations and the environment that dairy goat farmers operate in.

So far we have managed to establish a goat barn comprising 10 does and one buck,  and these represent three varieties: 6 toggenburg, 2 saanen and 2 Kenya alphines. The goat barn is designed to hold 32 goats as there are 16 cages that can each hold two goats.

The next step is to develop new recording practices that are coded in sequences to ensure credibility and effectiveness. It will be modeled after the Kenya stud book to ensure that the registrations tally with what is on the farm and in their offices. Software will be developed to ensure the record of each goat is kept and one is able to monitor their progress.

At the end we will be able to produce at least two litres per goat per day. Quality goats will also be produced that will be sold to the common interest farmers who rear goats, so as to phase out low quality bloodstock. Bucks will be eliminated after every two years to ensure no cases of inbreeding arise.

There is great need for internalization of the concept by farmers for this project to be successful. Internalization is a slow process that takes longer than the normal program periods of most development agencies. This need therefore calls for the involvement of local, community-based organizations that can carry on the process to the final commercial phase and internalization.

In order to fulfill all this we require 5 more quality goats at a cost of $1500, feed and veterinary services at $1000, production of hay at $500, acquisition of a fridge for milk storage at $600, purchase of software at $700, artificial insemination services at $500 and general supplies and transportation at $200.

With these supplies we will be able to produce, sell and sustain the project, bearing in mind that the goats will be able to give birth twice a year and there is ready market for milk offered by Toggs, Kenya.

I call upon people of like minds, the general public and organizations to join hands to be able to offer a model that is easy to adopt by everyone for self-reliance and nutritional value.


Blogpost and picture submitted by Philip Kabiryu (Kirinyaga, Kenya) – phildikab[at]

The content, structure and grammar is at the discretion of the author only.

This post is published as proposal #172 of “YAP” – our “Youth Agripreneur Project”.

The first selection of the winners will be based on the number of comments, likes and views each proposal gets.

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“YAP” is part of the #GCARD3 process, the third Global Conference on Agricultural Research for Development.

73 thoughts on “YAP Proposal #172: Umoja dairy goat project (Philip Kabiru, Kenya)”

  1. Interesting emerging opportunity. Dairy goats’ milk medicinal value is being accepted by kenyans now. Nice and elaborate.

  2. I wish you all the best in you project Philip….. it very wonderful…. keep up…

  3. its a good and catchy project I hope with time it will benefit most young people who are jobless.having in mind the scarcity of resources I urge you to encourage farmers to venjure into this type of farming.

  4. wow what a catchy proposal its so encouraging please try and implement it for it will help a diverse number of people.
    I love it ooh.

  5. This is great and awesome.its an elaborate way to spearhead agricultural development in the country.GREAT

  6. this is awesome and great.An elaborate way to spearhead agricultural development in the country.GREAT GREAT

  7. A noble idea indeed which has not been 100% exploited and which has potential grow wide putting in mind little investment capital and cost of production required compared with dairy cows production.Ready market for the produce a plus in this venture.I support the idea fully because its manageable at household level and this definitely will result to economic empowerment in household units and across the nation.

  8. This is very encouraging Mr Philip we need this high level of creativity inorder to eradicate poverty in our counties and improve the living standards among our local residents and i like this idea and project oriented mind in which it requires low inputs and hence very easy to sustain. Wishing you the best as you contest.. bravooo Mr Philip

  9. Commendable job that not only will it benefit youths but the entire society.I fully support the project and so proud of you Philip.

    1. thanks Fay for your concern. As you may be aware for production to be constant you have to consider the general management in terms of feeding and also the barn should be comfortable. so with all good care and feeding it cannot be affected.

    2. Our dairy goats drink less water when the weather is rainy and their milk production reduces.

      1. Thanks for elaborating further. commendable explanation. How many litres are you able to produce per day.

  10. Kudos Phillip.I admire now to go farming.This is a good project which is self sustaining. Go ahead with this project and you will inspire many people and especially the youths.

  11. Thanks for your excellent example to all of us at MHAC here in Kitale promoting better practical dairy goat husbandry! Consider joining us for our workshop on value addition for goat milk. As soon as we have 20 participants (currently 11 have expressed interest) we will schedule for three days training on yoghurt, mala and cheese production. The venue will be Manor House Agricultural Centre, Kitale with some of the practicals at my nearby organic farm with its dairy goat production unit! MHAC has fewer goats, so mine will supply most of the milk for processing! All who are interested can contact me (Polly Noyce, Trustee MHAC) at or WhatsApp or SMS to 0706162502. Happy milking!

    1. This is incredible my mentor. Im also proud of MHAC and i will continue to act as a pot where others draws from. God bless you

  12. This the ideal model for economic empowerment for our families that have been objected to poverty for centuries , its has proven effective for income generation, imprroved health n nutritional status especially for our mothers and children living with HIV/AIDS…. Kudos PHilip for this comprehensive piece

  13. Dairy Goat Farming is the future for small holder farmers (SHFs) in Kenya. This is because climate change and diminishing arable land. There is also a huge untapped and lucrative market for dairy goat milk. This is the future to lift many Kenyan SHFs from poverty. Dairy Goat Milk= the new Kenyan “cash crop.”

  14. wonderful! wish every individual were to get up with this great cheap mind to eradicate erroneous blunder that we call poverty…we require chaps like u Philip.congrats bro’!

  15. that’s so much incredible Philip keep the fire burning I will always b there for any support required kudos brother

  16. Excellent job. put into a practical shape, the idea can go a long way to minimize unemployment among the youth. keep up Sir.

  17. A great piece of work, very practical and an employment creation enterprise for our shrinking land parcels. I say kudos and keep up the great struggle against poverty.

  18. This could be the critical input required to change the livelihoods of the group and dependants. Not to mention the impact this will have on the value chain. Toggskenya is waiting for the milk to process. This is spot on.

  19. Wow! Am just amazed on how great minds we have at the background. I wish people would adapt these new farming techniques of agribusiness.
    Nice work Mr Phillip. Keep it up man.
    All d best.

  20. I like it when people become innovative this way.
    This project will not only benefit you but even the other jobless and interested youths by creating an employment opportunity,it’ll still benefit others and the community at large because of the products produced by the project like milk,meat,manure etc.
    Am just encouraging you to keep the spirit high my friend,a long journey starts with a single step.Nowadays finding employment has become the exception of the few who “know people” and this kind of self employment is good.God bless u in your endeavors.

    1. we have what it takes to create jobs and its our turn to showcase to the Nations what we can offer for livelihood

  21. Thank you for sharing this wonderful and informative blog post. We will be happy to spread the information to the communes that we work with in Kenya and beyond.

    This is a wonderful forum.

    Thank you!
    Shana Greene
    Executive Director of Village volunteers.

  22. That’s sir.through your good ideas.think how you can mobilize more members in rearing goat and started marketing the product.keep it up brother

    1. Ooooh tis is elegance of great mind. I have fallen in love with the idea. Big bro it viable and that what this generation to realize full potential. Kudos

  23. a mind that is to lift hopeles families frm one level to another.a great motivation u r!embrace teamwork.i see a transformed community through your great efforts,bravo

  24. Hi? interested to be a partner in this project am from Kilimambogo.
    Pls let me know the modalities of joining .Thanks

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