Matatu man turns top farmer with 74 cows
From 4am to 11am, the animals listen to gospel music, between 11am and 4pm rhythm and blues (RnB) and reggae, and local songs rule the waves in the barns. Thereafter, the radio is switched back to gospel music until 9pm when the system is put off.
“When I was in the matatu sector, I realised that depending on the time of day, passengers relaxed when listening to different genres of music. In the morning while going to work, they enjoyed gospel music. In the afternoon and evening, RnBs, soul and local music. This is the schedule I borrowed because animals are like human bings,” Gitau tells Seeds of Gold.
Gitau has been in the dairy industry for the past eight years, raising the number of his herd from four to the current 74.
“I collect over 750 litres of milk a day from 45 lactating cows. I deliver the milk to Githunguri Dairies, the company that makes Fresha milk products. They buy at between Sh36 and Sh38 depending on the market trends,” he says.
Gitau, 37, dropped out of primary school and did menial jobs in the village before becoming a tout and a driver along the Githunguri-Kiambu-Nairobi route and in Eastleigh and Dagoretti, working for four years. He says he quit in 2001 due to police harassment.
“I did not like the job because it required me to do a lot of work but the returns were little since the animals only produced less than 30 litres of milk per day. I returned to Nairobi and got a job as a truck driver operating between the city and Mombasa,” he says.
“I presented a proposal to the sacco, which is owned by farmers, and I was advanced Sh240,000 to buy three Friesian cows. I disposed of the others that were on the farm,” he recalls, adding that milk output increased significantly, enabling him to repay the loan.