Catholic priest mints cash from mixed farming
Some three kilometers from Nkubu town along the busy Nkubu to Mitunguu road is a half-acre farm owned by Catholic priest Ashford Mwebia.
The farm is home to 10 hybrid cattle, 78 pigs, ducks, turkeys, peacock, and chicken, animals that he tends to during his free time.
The cow shed holds cows depending on their gestation period. To enhance the farming practices, he keeps up to date records that depict every single activity at the farm and most importantly every detail pertaining to each animal. All cows are tagged making record keeping easier for the two permanent employees.
From the cattle, the priest milks an average of 150 litres selling to Meru central at Sh34 a litre making him earn an average of Sh5,000 a day. To maximize his production, Mwebia makes his own dairy meal and also preserves his fodder through a technology that does not require either the use of molasses or inoculant.
“I realized that the suppliers were offering very expensive substandard feeds that did not meet the animals’ nutritional requirements and this compelled me to make my own feeds,” he explains.
“Fluctuations in the quality of the feeds is a great inconvenience to the cow as it not only fails to meet the required protein and energy level but it also affects the milk production,” he explains and further advises farmers to have enough quality feeds to last them at least six months to evade the inconvenience.
Mwebia rears a total of 78 pigs which he sells locally depending on the pigs’ weight, costs that range from Sh30,000 to Sh70,000. To try maximize their health and weight, Mwebia also formulates his own feed. He cites pig farming as one viable projects as it has little initial investment and a high reproductive rate compared to the ruminants.
Mwebia also has coffee, maize and potatoes on another 10-acre piece of land. He derives a bonus of not less than Sh100,000 from coffee and Sh30,000 from sweet potatoes. He uses maize to make silage.