From a distance, as you approach Mparo’s Farm, lies a large tract of land that is home to special breeds of livestock in Mashuuru Sub County.
Mparo’s Farm is in Erankau village in Mashuuru Sub County, and is home to special breeds of livestock ranging from South African Dorper sheep to Boran cows.
On the eastern side of the farm stands a modern building that is palatial home to an award-winning livestock breeder – Paul Naigisiei and wife, Rev. Faith Naigisiei.
Our team was ushered in by Faith, her husband and his younger brother Daniel Naigisiei escorted us to the living room for a sumptuous breakfast.
As we enjoyed cups of milk-rich tea, Paul and Daniel took us through a long historic past of livestock breeding that expands from 1984 to date.
The two brothers, whose ancestry is traced back to Nandi, are grandchildren of the late Mzee Mparo who is said to have relocated to Mashuuru from Nandi District in early 1920s.
They are the only two sons of the late Mzee Naigisiei ole Mparo of Nkama Location in Kajiado East constituency.
Mparo died in 1972 when Paul and Daniel were 14 and 12 years respectfully. Life for the two, who had been left with a mother, became unbearable, and both had difficulties in raising their school fees when they joined high school.
“My mother was poor as she had no finances left after all our livestock died during a major drought that hit Kajiado earlier before our father died. It is only God who knows what we underwent as a family until we cleared Form Four,” says Paul, who is the eldest in the family.
The two brothers ventured in to livestock raring in 1984 after they met a British farmer, Peter Leonard, in his farm in Kyumbi near Machakos junction on Mombasa road.
“With the little money we had during those days, we were able to buy two Dorper sheep with the help of Leonard. He imported the two rams from Switzerland and Zimbabwe. On arrival to the country, we started crossbreeding them with the local Red Maasai sheep. After a while, we had raised several crossbreeds which we sold to make more money,” says Daniel.
Ten years later, the two brothers had raised enough money to enable them start large scale breeding in their Mparo’s Farm.
Their father had 400 acres of land which was shared equally between the two brothers, and so in 1994 they started off with buying pure Dorper sheep and in 2015, they moved to farms in Cape Town, South Africa where they bought on ram at Sh200, 000.
In the following year, they imported another ram as they did in 2017. Today, the two brothers are keeping an average of 300 Dorper sheep, 400 Galla goats and 300 pure Boran cows.
After they were introduced to livestock breeding by Leonard, Paul and Daniel have never looked back, and today the elder brother specializes in breeding the Boran cows which are sold out to local farmers in Kajiado, Kiambu, Makueni and Narok counties.
Daniel has become a specialist in large scale raring of Dorper sheep and Galla goats.
Interestingly, the two farmers have not hired services of a veterinary doctor, and yet instead they have been recognised by International Livestock Research Institute which consults them regularly on sheep and goats raring.
Paul treats and de-worms his Boran cow stocks, while Daniel handles the Dorper sheep and Galla goats.
Daniel can spot an ailing Dorper of Galla goat one hundred meters away after 34 years of experience in raring the ruminants.
“I just look at the way they walk and their skins and know there is something amiss in the sick ones. I take their temperatures, and understand what they are ailing from. It is rare that a Galla goat gets ill,” said Daniel.
In 2016 the county government of Kajiado awarded them a certificate in livestock raring after they were voted the best farmers who have adopted modern technology in farming.
They have a borehole in the farm that is using a generator, while the cows sheds and pens are lit by solar powered bulbs at night to keep predators at bay.
The brother farmers buy their pure breeds of Boran cows from Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Eastern Province owned by white settler farmers.
Paul, who never went beyond Form Four due to lack of financial resources, has four children – two girls and two boys.
His first born daughter is a medical doctor working in Boston, and has acquired property in Atlanta in the United States of America where she resides.
His last born daughter graduated last year from University of Nairobi with a Bachelor of Science in Actuarial Science. She is yet to get employment.
One son is working with the county government while the other is being trained by his father and uncle to take a role in livestock farming.
Both Paul and Daniel are members of the Dorper Society of Kenya and have been participating in Brookside Livestock Fair in the country.
They will be showcasing their prowess in Dorper sheep, Boran cows and Galla goats’ breeding in this year’s Nairobi International Trade Fair.
Interestingly the two farmers rare their animals for meat production while the Boran cows they keep in their farm have the capacity to produce high fat milk content in big volumes.
Galla goats have capacity to produce meat and milk. Their bucks weigh up to 80kg when they are full grown, while their doe can weigh up to 65kg in life weight.
Dorper sheep rams at Mparo’s Farm weigh up to 150kg while ewes range between 75kg and 90kg.
Boran cattle bulls weigh approximately 500kg to 850kg while cows weigh between 380kg and 450kg.