Margaret Wangari Kibira




Forage production and conservation


60 years


Nyandarua South


Central Kenya



Margaret Wangari Kibira

Ms. Margaret Kibira is a small scale dairy farmer and has a thriving dairy farm in Nyandarua County, in Kenya, and is part of the Muki Farmers’ Cooperative Society (MFC). MFC was one of the case studies for Procasur’s Learning Route: Linking smallholder farmers to commercialization practices – the case of Farmers Organizations in the Kenyan dairy sector. The story of Margaret and her dairy business started from a single cow and has grown to be her livelihood. Thanks to the milk collection routes that have been established in her county by the MFC she does not need to leave her farm to sell her milk as it is now collected from the doorstep of her farm every morning. Giving her more time to invest on her cows. She has also learnt prevention methods for diseases like mastitis and anaplasmosis and is savvy in topics like artificial insemination and feed supplements. Her farm is now a source of job opportunities in the area as she can afford to hire seasonal workers who help her during planting and harvesting seasons.
When she started farming, she was digging and harvesting potatoes. After some time and hard work she was able to buy one cow. At first Margaret faced several challenges related to droughts, diseases and price fluctuations but being a strong and hardworking woman her approach has always been to learn from such constraints and be resilient. She joined the Muki Farmers Cooperative to help her save and borrow money to expand her farming activities. She was able to sell her milk to them and they would package it and market it for her. The cooperative was crucial for the development of her dairy farm because they trained her on innovative approaches that guaranteed her farm to be a successful and viable enterprise. This season she has started the production of improved fodder crops and forage conservation methods to prepare for the next dry season in order to ensure that there are feeds for animals throughout the year hence maintain a steady milk supply. Margaret keeps improving her knowledge in milk handling and other husbandry practices. While initially her farming was unprofitable, today she has money in her pocket and she is a local role model.
She has experienced an increase in production from 10 litres of milk per cow per day to 95 litres of milk per cow per a day. This success is largely attributed to improved adapted breeds of dairy cows from the use of artificial insemination after attending a training about it.
There have also been reduced costs of production per litre of milk by around 40% without reducing the quality of the milk and a reduced production risk by 30 per cent thanks to forage conservation.
Margaret has increased her farming area to 8 acres of land for the dairy farming.
Increased incomes from the 50 litres of milk per day from dairy farming, from which she makes about USD $300 per month.
“I am very proud to share this knowledge through farmer to farmer trainings for members of the dairy cooperative to which I belong to. I always encourage members of my community to be part of a farmers’ cooperative that can support them and offer them extension services”.

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