The demand for high-quality animal and animal products has been on the rise thanks to the ballooning population. According to the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, the livestock sector accounts for about 12 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product and employs about 25 per cent of the population. The prospects in animal ventures seem to be dwindling, but when things are done differently, there is a good return on investment. Today I will share tips for success in livestock farming.
A business plan is a roadmap that outlines your goals and strategies for success. It should include a detailed budget, marketing, and operations plan. Your business plan should also consider potential risks and how to mitigate them.
Different types of livestock are better suited to different regions and environments. Some popular options include cows, goats, sheep, pigs, and chicken. Consider factors such as the local market demand for the animal’s products, the amount of space and resources you have, and your own skills and experience in caring for the animals.
Invest in healthy, high-quality animals to ensure the success of your farm. Look for animals with strong genetics and good health records. You may also want to consider buying animals from reputable breeders or purchasing animals with a proven track record of producing high-quality products.
Choose a location for your farm that has access to feeds, water, pasture, power, and other resources. Consider factors such as the climate, availability of local veterinary care, and proximity to markets.
Proper animal care includes providing the animals with adequate food, water, shelter, and medical care. It is also important to observe animal welfare.
This includes understanding the demand for different types of livestock products, such as milk, meat, and eggs, as well as the competition and pricing in the market. You should also be familiar with any relevant laws and regulations, such as those related to animal welfare and food safety. Once established, explore value addition to reap more from each unit of produce from your farm.
Starting a livestock farming business can be expensive, as it requires a significant investment in animals, feed, equipment, and infrastructure. You may need to secure financing through a bank loan, crowdfunding campaign, or other sources.
Once you have established your farm and are producing high-quality products, have a plan in place for marketing and selling those products. This could include building a website, creating social media accounts, participating in local farmers’ markets, or establishing relationships with local businesses.
Stay up-to-date on the latest trends and developments. This includes attending industry conferences and workshops, reading industry publications such as The Smart Harvest magazine, and networking with fellow farmers.
[Dr Paul Kangethe is a Veterinary Surgeon and Resident Vet at Farmkenya]