KENYA – From initially planning to keep two cows for family milk needs, Mr. Albert Miare has developed a commercial dairy enterprise, showcasing the power of sustainable agriculture and personal determination.

This is the journey of Miare, a former high-ranking police officer who, upon retiring, ventured into dairy farming.

His modest initial idea evolved into a thriving urban dairy enterprise, showcasing the transformative power of sustainable agriculture and the determination of an individual to secure his family’s future.

Mr. Miare’s journey began in 2006, two years before he retired from the Kenya Police Service. Facing the prospect of leaving a structured career, he sought a way to sustain his family.

His initial plan was simple: to keep two cows to provide enough milk for household needs. However, what started as a practical solution quickly grew into a comprehensive dairy farming operation. Miare’s meticulous planning and precision, honed during his police service, played a crucial role in this transformation.

“Each cow requires only four feet by seven feet, so I utilized a little piece of land in my busy urban area,” Miare explained. “My start was slow, but I soon realized the potential for something bigger.”

His vision expanded with the construction of a barn for eight cows, marking a significant turning point. This expansion was further encouraged by his cousin’s interest and support, highlighting the venture’s potential beyond a personal endeavor.

However, the path to success was not without its challenges. Miare faced numerous obstacles, including space limitations, disease outbreaks, financial constraints, and policy hurdles.

At the peak of his enterprise in 2019/20, he managed a herd of 54 animals. The COVID-19 pandemic and a foot-and-mouth disease outbreak significantly reduced this number to about 20 cows.

Dairy farming has its challenges,” Miare noted. “Nairobi residents were not allowed to keep animals within the city, but I demonstrated to the county government that I was not only sustaining my family but also providing food for the community.”

His adaptability and perseverance led to national recognition, including an award from the late President Mwai Kibaki as the best small-scale farmer in 2011.

Looking ahead, Miare envisioned a pivotal role for the dairy industry in Kenya’s economic growth. He noted that he is passionate about the potential for dairy farming to create job opportunities, promote a sustainable food system, and enhance food security.

His farm’s sustainability focus includes a profitable vegetable farm that utilizes manure and a recently drilled borehole to combat climate change impacts.

“The dairy industry is where the money is,” Miare asserted. “The demand for milk and dairy products like yogurt, ghee, and ice cream is vast. Young people should consider dairy farming; it can improve your pocket and health.”

Miare’s farm has become a benchmark for urban agriculture, attracting visitors from countries such as South Africa, Zimbabwe, and India.

His success story serves as a beacon of inspiration for aspiring farmers, demonstrating that with determination, innovation, and community support, even the smallest plots of land hold boundless possibilities.

Read full story on our Dairy Business Africa Magazine

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