Kenya Agricultural Research Institute Report 1984

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Ministry Of Agriculture
During 1984, the Animal Production Research Department of the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute continued with its efforts to establish the foundation of a viable dairy cattle research herd at Muguga. Accordingly the Department acquired a Four Unit Bucket milking machine towards the last days' of the year. It is believed that hand milking is not suitable for a research herd because the productivity of an animal is confounded by the efficiency of the milker: thus instead of determining the treatment effects, one's results will be influenced by the milker and this will vary from cow to cow. The orientation of the staff and facilities towards the requirements of a research dairy herd has taken longer than originally envisaged. It is howevet rapidly becoming a fact of life. One of the consequencc,3 is that the Department's farm operations have to be taken much more seriously than in the past because a policy decision has been made to produce as much maize and lupin and forage as possible within own boundaries. This has implications on farm machinery, casual labour, storage and other input requirements. Timely farm operation at Muguga can make all the difference between a good and a bad or no harvest.