10 things you must do to make it in livestock farming in 2023

Farmers Parade breeds of livestock from Agricultural Society of Kenya and different parts of the Country at the Nairobi International trade fair at the Show ground Arena. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

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. 

  1. Develop a business plan

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.

  1. Choose the right type of livestock to raise

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.

  1. Buy high-quality 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.

  1. Find a suitable location

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. 

  1. Build or buy appropriate infrastructure Depending on the type of livestock you are raising, you may need to build or purchase housing, fencing, and other infrastructure. This could include barns, sheds, coops, or pens. This is to make sure that the animals are comfortable.
  2. Proper animal care practices

Proper animal care includes providing the animals with adequate food, water, shelter, and medical care. It is also important to observe animal welfare.

  1. Understand the local market

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. 

  1. Obtain necessary financing

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. 

  1. Establish a sound marketing plan

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.

  1. Monitor market industry trends

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]

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