At first sight, the dry, barren landscape of Watuka village in Nyeri County, Kenya can mislead one that it is not conducive for agriculture. However, the story of Grace Nyambura, 74, provides an exemplary tale of what passion, determination and a relentless thirst of knowledge can help one achieve. These traits have led her to be a model dairy farmer in the area.
Grace’s experience in agriculture is vast, spanning over forty years. Due to illness, she was forced to leave her job in Nairobi in the mid-90s and relocate to Nyeri county on 5-acre piece of land that she and her husband had bought. Her illness made crop cultivation a challenge due to the manual work involved, and this made dairy agriculture the most viable alternative for Grace to pursue.
To further her knowledge in dairy farming, Grace enrolled herself for trainings at Wambugu Farm, a nearby Agricultural Training Center. That was when she got to learn about using dairy meal to enhance cow nutrition and boost milk production. She managed to get a dairy meal supplier from Thika, Kenya (nearly 100km away) who regularly used to deliver dairy meal to her farm. Thanks to use of modern feeding techniques, her cows at the time were doing very well and with her neighbours curious about her success, she organized trainings for them from her dairy meal supplier.
The milk that she used to produce was sold to a local cooperative society which after some management troubles unfortunately collapsed. This led to sourcing for alternative markets for her milk, which led her to Kieni Dairy Products Limited (KDPL).