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Rufftone: How I run my dairy unit

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.

‚ÄúMany¬†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,‚Ä̬†he¬†says.

Since 2006, Rufftone has been running a dairy unit in Eshifiru village in Kakamega County. His main market is Kakamega Market Centre.

‚ÄúI have a few¬†dairy¬†cows whose milk earns me some decent money,‚ÄĚ 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.

‚ÄúLike 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,‚Ä̬†he¬†shares.

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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,‚Ä̬†he¬†says.

That strategic and intentional care has ensured that his cows produce enough milk.

‚ÄúThey¬†may¬†not be super milk producers, but at least they produce enough milk that can be consumed at home and some that we sell,‚Ä̬†Rufftone¬†points out.

But pray, what prompted the gospel artiste to venture into this field?

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