Dairy farming is one of lucrativefarming business in Nigeria though it is usually neglected by business men because of their erroneous assumption. Many belief Nigeria cattle can not provide quantity of milk needed to be profitable.
Yes! They are right but what if we do not use Nigeria breed, there are foreign breed of cattle that will do well in Nigeria and this have been proven right by various dairy farm in Nigeria or do you actually think they are using Nigeria breed?
Dairy framing business is not that technical, once you know your onion, you will be able to cut it right. By reading this content you have taken one of the the steps.
Below are the steps you will need to go through before having a profitable dairy farming business.
Check this out: How to start profitable sugar cane farming business in Nigeria
Feasibility study/ Business plan
No business can stand without a feasibility study. You need to go out and ask people questions. Survey the location you want to use, does it have a good road network?, is the location good for animal?, what is the level of noise pollution?? What market segment you want to serve?
If you carry out feasibility study and found out that all the question tick true then, you can write your business plan. Business plan is just how your business will move from one milestone to the other usually for the duration of 5 years. You need to take your time to write the feasibility study and business plan if you will be taking loan or investment from bank and investor.
Register your business
To have a proper business you need to register your business with the CAC (cooperate Affairs Commission) and collect permit from your local government. You can bypass it but it is not advisable not only you will not be able to access some benefit from the government, your business might suffer in the hand of regulator, ministry of Agric in this case.
All agric business require training , dairy farming is not left out, you need to get proper training on the operations of dairy farming, operation like milking, calving, feeding, e.t.c. your training should not take more than 3 month.
Haaaa I don’t have time?
If you don’t have time, employ animal production proffessional who will supervise all the operation. You can also consult Animal production consultant they will guide you in all the steps you need to take.
Setting up your farm
Next in line, is to build your farm. Dairy farming does not require heavy building like poultry farming, you can use bamboo or wood to build the shed with straw as bed on the floor. The roof should be made of material that do not conserve heat. Separate your shed into part, one for keeping your cattle, other for keeping feed. Build facility for workers and office for the manager.
To have a well clean shed let the floor be slopy so that animal waste can be easily clean.
Breed of cattle you housed can make or mar your business so take your time to research and get the best breed. Some of the breed that can do well in Nigeria are.
- Holstein Friesian
- New JerseyJersey
- Brown swiss
- White Fulani
When buying animal make sure the animal is healthy, you can know this by checking the face of the animal, if its look dull then there is probably a problem with the animal.
To produce milk, cattle need nutrient especially protein, this nutrient are what is converted by animal to milk. To have optimum production you will want to feed your cattle very well.
There three type of feed you will need
Dry cattle feed
Dry cattle i.e non pregnant cow, they need energy rich feed with low protein.
Quantity of feed given to pregnant animal must be more compare to dry cow. You can also increase the protein content of the feed
This is milk producing cow. Though the quantity of milk your animal will produce is mostly determine by how well you treat them during pregnancy, you can also increase their quantity of milk during lactation by increasing the protein content of their feed.
As you give them quality feed make sure you give them water also, a cow will consume 2 to 23 litter of water per day depending on the weather.
This is where you get your product. Lactating cow should be move to milking parlour where they will be milk either by machine or hand.
Whatever method you use make sure you clean the udder and teat of the animal so as to prevent milk contamination.
To make your work easier and neat, there are some equipment you can use. These equipment are listed below
This is used to obtain milk from cow
ThIs is used for heating milk to temperature below 100c. It get rid of any micro organism in the milk.
Other equipment are
Rope, chain, homogenizer, generator, water pipe, feeder, drinker, e.t.c
On of the problem of agriculture is disease. There are two way to prevent disease on your farm
1) Hire experience Vet that will work on your farm
2) Have a tie with animal production consultant
When bringing new animal to farm make sure you quarantine them for days, to know if they will come down with disease, this will prevent out break on your farm.
Do you want to have disease free farm?
Take care of your farm manure. Manure or waste from each barn should be empty to a far place to prevent microganism frm crawling back to farm. You can also turn your mannure to gas which can serve as source electricity or revenue to your business.
If you do your feasibility study well, you should have little or no problem with marketing. You can sell to agro allied company, final consumer or add value to the milk by processing it to butter, cheese and yoghurt.
Create fliers , logo, business card and share it to frinds, family and neighbor if you are targeting final cinsumer, if not go to agro allied company with your product and let them know you get their raw material at hand.
Dairy farming is a profitable venture , if you are ready to work. If you can go through all the steps listed above the sky is your limit.