Ru tone at his farm in Eshifi ru village in Kakamega County. To ensure the animals have enough feed, he grows napier grass. [PHOTOS: COURTESY]
Gospel artiste Rufftone has no doubt made a mark in the music industry. But what many people may not know is that he is also striving to make a mark on the farming front. Yep, the guy is a solid dairy farmer.
“Many Kenyans may not know it but I am actually a farmer. Many have seen me perform in the studio, at national events and concerts, but they may not know that I am very conversant with matters farming,” he says.
Since 2006, Rufftone has been running a dairy unit in Eshifiru village in Kakamega County. His main market is Kakamega Market Centre.
“I have a few dairy cows whose milk earns me some decent money,” the singer says.
Rufftone says he started out with an expensive cross breed, Jersey calf, that cost him Sh20,000 but has since diversified to different breeds.
“Like all young farmers, I started small but with time, my herd has increased. I have seen this single calf grow and give birth to all these cows. It has been a journey of ups and downs,” he shares.
Why do my pigs bite off each others tails?
But since he was in his music career (going to studio to record new songs and all) he had to create time, every so often to go and check on the animal. Luckily for him, his mother is based in upcountry, so she also played a big role in ensuring the projects did not fail.
A successful dairy project is measured by a number of key performance indicators,” says the ‘Mwikulu’ hit singer. “And one of these is the amount of milk the cows produce at different stages especially the lactation stage.
“In my journey as a farmer, I have come to realise that to get that right, there are certain things that I have to get right in the first place. It’s a mix of good genes, the amount of feed the animal gets, how you treat it and how well you take care of it.
“For instance, when the animal is sick, do you call a quack or involve a vet? I have learnt to always deal with experts and to give my cattle quality feed and as and when required. Clean water is also mandatory,” he says.
That strategic and intentional care has ensured that his cows produce enough milk.
“They may not be super milk producers, but at least they produce enough milk that can be consumed at home and some that we sell,” Rufftone points out.
But pray, what prompted the gospel artiste to venture into this field?
“I have always wanted to be a farmer since I was a child. When I was growing up, I would see how my parents fed and educated us from proceeds from their maize farm. My parents planted crops like maize,