Authors : Christine Ombuna
Abstract: Dairying in Kenya is characterized by small scale and labour intensive operations such as hand milking. The aims of this research were to determine trends in milking by hand by milking machines and technology needed for dairying. The research used an interview schedule and convenience sampling method in Naivasha, Nakuru, Eldoret, Kitale, Nyandarua and Nairobi Regions. A total of 74 farmers milking by hand, 8 farmers using milking machines, 50 experts in Kenyan dairy sector, 5 dairy processors and 9 dairy equipment dealers were surveyed. The results indicated that the breeds reared were either pure or crosses of Friesian (56%), Aryshire (30%), Jersey (7) and others 7%. The breeds reared by farmers milking by hand and machine were not significantly different. About 9.7% had adopted milking machines and skilled hand milking personnel were 13%. The duration of milking by hand was mostly (62%) above recommended time (7 min). Majority of farmers (95) and 96% of experts recommended adoption of milking machines for high milk quality, improved production and health of animal throughout lactation periods. The reasons farmers were not using milking machines were the cost and few herd. Farmers who milked by hand and supplied milk to dairy processors were 42% of this, 37% had their milk rejected for failure to meet quality standards. Each of sampled dairy processors received 60-70% of milk processing capacity per day. Adoption of milking machines has been prevented by high initial and operation costs, lack of designs applicable for farms with <20 cows, sensitization and diversified marketing. The ones using milking machines are challenged with inadequate water and electricity.
Christine Ombuna , 2018. Trends in Hand Milking and Machine Milking in Kenya. Journal of Engineering and Applied Sciences, 13: 5655-5660.