I am Samuel Gatimu Murage, 29, from central Kenya. I love agriculture and am already making a transformation in this sector. Having been brought up heart of Kenya agriculture, agriculture is my daily routine.
People from Kenya know very well, the central area is the centre of agriculture, i.e. coffee, tea, maize, rice, and horticulture. Having done mechanical engineering, I felt it was not enough and I deviated to agriculture (dairy farming), having seen opportunity in this sector as a young man.
Currently I am a YPAD mentee, former stryde (techno serve) trainee and mentee, Procasur showcasing participant, and a winner of stryde business plan competition.
Agriculture is my life, passion, and duty as well. As a youth, I don’t shy from agriculture, since I take it as like any another job: full of opportunities. I believe improving the value chain is the way to go for agriculture and it comes along with innovation.
The project is to encourage young farmers to add value by using the remains from rice, maize and wheat harvest, to bring more value, i.e. rice straw, maize stover wheat straw, lower rice bran, and low-quality hay to enhance livestock production.
By processing the remains to bran then mixing with rice bran molasses, salt, minerals, and lime we come up with a block that is more nutritious and palatable to animals, and an economic feed.
The mix of low-quality materials is converted to become a very useful way to supplement the livestock during a dry spell at a cheaper price. The use of NPN agent (urea) magnifies the crude protein (CP), tripling the original fodder CP. For example, if the original CP of the material to be used was 6% the result will be 18% CP.
Not only will it change CP level but allow better utilization of the high fibre present in this material. These materials are not only of low quality but also bulky to store. But in block form they are easy to transport and the space available is utilized better in terms of storage.
This project is meant to create jobs for both old and young farmers, who are my centre of interest, to turn low-quality fodder or waste into blocks. The blocks attract more profit and value. These blocks are highly acceptable by the dairy farms, and beef and sheep farmers at my place
Youth from arid and semi-arid areas find it hard to venture into animal agribusiness projects due to high loss of animal during dry spells. This is a wake-up call for the youth from this zone to venture in to this business without fear.
Not only do youths from this area shy away from agriculture as the only source of income but also face unemployment. They become desperate and migrate to urban centres, leading to idleness, prostitution, early pregnancies, HIV infection, crimes, and slum growth. This will help in empowering youth to become self-reliant.
As a small-scale dairy farmer, I am aware that if the production costs goes high the profit margin will be affected or incur losses affecting the business. The NPN block is meant to lower production costs, thus helping farmer sin the following ways:
- Higher profits
- Reduced waste from fodder offered to the animal
- Quality production of meat and milk at low cost, regardless of the climate
- Improved expected meat production, i.e. one calf per year, due to good body condition
- Promote food security for the nation and pastoralist communities
- Reduce the post-harvest waste of the straws and stoves
- Promote animal husbandly growth
- Better utilization of the fodder eaten by the animal
The success of this project will involve:
- Forming of youth group and registering them as Africa NPN block expert
- Construction of a simple warehouse made of timber and iron sheet
- Supporting the youth to purchase necessary machines to process this blocks that meet the standard
- Packing and storing this block properly awaiting sales
- Training the youth in market strategy. I believe this will attract more interest to youth in agribusiness.
I intend to spend the USD 5,000 grant as follows:
- USD 200 to organize and register three youth group, that is about 40 youths (Ten-member cells) groups in Mwea Central Kenya
- USD 600 to train the youth in the processing and making the block, financial aspects, and supply management; also training farmers in the merits of NPN blocks
- USD 800 on the purchase and processing of raw materials to be used
- USD 1,000 to buy the machinary and equipment needed
- USD 2,000 to construct storage facilities made of wood, iron sheet, and poles
- USD 300 purchase of packing materials
- USD 100 registration of the product
My project is to expand, to other youth groups, from the impact felt and observed in the first phase. I expect to secure more market share in the Middle East, thus expanding the production capacity, attracting more income, and creating more jobs. This will see more youth in agribusiness in the future, ending the problems faced by the youths.
I believe agriculture is for the youth!
Blogpost and picture submitted by Sanuel Gatimu Murage, (Kenya): lesahfarm10[at]gmail.com
The content, structure and grammar are at the discretion of the author only.
This post is published as proposal #219 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.
As a reader, you can support this speaker’s entry:
- Leave a comment (question, suggestion,..) on this project in the comment field at the bottom of this page
- Support the post by clicking the “Like” button below (only possible for those with a com account)
- Spread this post via your social media channels, using the hashtag: #GCARD3
Have a look at the other “YAP” proposals too!
As a donor, support young agripreneurs and sponsor this unique project.
Check out the side column for our current sponsors. “YAP” is part of the #GCARD3 process, the third Global Conference on Agricultural Research for Development.