This study shows that, besides the obvious role of producing milk for home consumption and sale, dairy cattle and other livestock are highly valued for the production of manure. This is a vital role on many farms where the purchase of artificial fertilisers is extremely limited because of cost. A survey of 60 farmers cultivating high potential land in Kiambu and Murang’a Districts of Central Province, Kenya, representative of other East African highland areas, shows that dairy cattle, kept traditionally in permanent confinement throughout the year, produce considerable quantities of high quality manure. Livestock not only accelerate nutrient turnover but are also the major conduit for import of external nutrients since many farms purchase forage, cereal milling by-products and minerals as feed.
Lekasi, J.K., Tanner, J.C., Kimani, S.K. and Harris, P.J.C. 1998. Manure management in the Kenya Highlands: Practices and potential. Coventry: The Henry Doubleday Research Association, UK.