Farmers reap benefits from KALRO Kiboko Improved pasture technology

Farmers reap benefits from KALRO Kiboko Improved pasture technology

Mr. George P. Muindi started his fodder production initiative in December 2013 an activity he had seen at a friend’s farm (Professor Mbatha). He started with 5 acres of Boma Rhodes grass purchased from Simlaw seeds E.A LTD. However, due to low rainfall the grass did not fully establish to maturity. Based on the advice provided by the manager Sultan Estate farm, a neighbouring 100 acre farm, also engaged in fodder production, he decided to visit KALRO Kiboko where he was trained on sustainable fodder production, its best practices and the suitable Species for his farm at Sultan Hamud.

He requested for technical assistance during the initial establishment where his 3 farm workers were trained in aspects of land preparation through planting and crop management. On one acre, he plants 5kg of seeds and harvests an average of 100 to 150 bales of hay weighing 18 kilograms each.

His initial establishment (30 acres) of March 2014 took of fairly well considering that he planted during the long rains season which is not very reliable compared to the short rains season. This made him expand the acreage to 60 during the short rains season of 2015. Now he boasts a 120 acre fodder farm from which in 2015 he produced 4000 bales (from the initial 30 acres) and sold all of them between at KES. 300 farm gate. The farmers initially had the County Government bailing the hay for them at a cost of 20% of the total number of bales but are now using a private partner who is bailing at KES. 70 per bale.

 “Unlike maize and beans, the common crops grown in the area, this range grasses do not need a lot of attention and are hardy.”  Mr. Muindi says. Adding that he only applies farmyard manure and he has now increased his herd from 6 dairy animals to 24.

“I mix seeds with dry manure when planting using a tractor, spray to curb weeds after two weeks and wait to harvest after four months,” he says, adding that the crop is harvested about three times depending on the season.

We are now about 8 farmers engaged in commercial fodder production thanks to KALRO Kiboko

Part of the 120 acre pasture Farm for hay making in Sultan Hamud