Premium Diary Farm is a member of the D.I Group Of Companies, which also includes D.I. Chicken Poultry farm and Mityana farm. Premium farm started with 20 cows, it has expanded overtime and currently has 49 adult cows with 50 heifers (14 male calves and 37 heifers) in Najjera-Kungu Kira Municipality, Sekanyonyi farm and Ddundu farm)
Premium farm has mainly Holstein Friesian animals, Jersey and Guernsey animals both on zero grazing and free range in Kungu farm, sekanyonyi farm and Ddundu farm in mityana. Kungu farm is entirely zero grazing while Sekanyonyi and Ddundu farms are on free range. Premium farm has a goats unit in Mityana (Ddundu farm) with the current capacity of 90 goats. These goats are kept on a free range method
Objectives of Premium Farm
To generate income from sale of milk and milk products and live animals to support family and livelihood.
To have profitable alternative employment option for youths.
To generate Bio-gas and have a sustainable source of energy for cooking since firewood and charcoal are no longer desirable due to their adverse effects on environment.
To promote organic farming among fellow farmers by providing manure (cow dung) at affordable prices, provide professional extension services to the farmers in Kiira municipality.
Premium farm depends entirely on rain-fed natural pastures mainly Napier grass but also grasses such as Chloris gayana, Brachiaria spp, Kikuyu grass, and various other grasses and legumes species are cultivated at small scale and established elephant grass pastures in Kayunga farm and mityana farm. This helps Premium farm to produce enough fodder to meet the needs of our herd throughout the year These pastures constitute 60% of our feed resources and are mainly got from Namulonge farm and other sister farm in Kayunga and mityana.
Feeding is supplemented with silage (made from our farm), maize bran and brewery residues.
Silage ensures high milk production and healthy dairy animals, especially during dry seasons. It is palatable, laxative, digestible, nutritious and requires less floor area for storage than hay. Premium farm established silage bankers at kungu farm where we ensile silage for a year to feed all the farms attached to premium farm. The silage bankers are located at a place safe from rodents, away from direct sunlight and with higher elevation to avoid rain water entering into the facility.
Crops such as maize, elephant grass and Napier grass are commonly used at premium farm for ensiling (preserve green fodder). They contain fermentable carbohydrates (sugar) necessary for bacteria to produce sufficient organic acid that acts as a preservative. Though leguminous fodders can also be used, they are rich in proteins and low in sugars making them a bit difficult to ensile.
Premium farm produces 300 litres of milk on average per day and during the wet season, the farm receives much more milk and because of this, the farm is compelled to sell the surplus to the informal market. Milking is by the use of hands however use of the milking machine is underway as the production capacity increases.
Milk hygiene is ensured to produce quality milk for our consumers and this is observed by; use of a strip cup is used to detect the level of mastitis, use of clean milking utensils, use of a lactometer to evaluate water levels, regular cleaning of the milking shades.
Premium farm has a milk cooler that ensures that milk remains safe for human consumption at all times and informal milk marketing channel is mainly used where by raw milk is sold directly to consumers without prior processing and packaging. It includes direct on-farm milk sales by premium farm to consumers in neighborhood as well as a sales through a chain of middlemen (market agents) including village milk collection agents, small scale rural traders, itinerant urban traders (handling less than 200 litres/day)
Premium farm has the banana plantations in Ddundu farm, Mpirigwa farm, Sekanyonyi farm and Kayunga farm. These plantations cover an area of 20 acres in all the farms. These plantations produce over 400 bunches of matooke per month with the target of producing 600 bunches per month.
Coffee fields as well have been established in mityana farm and they cover 3 acres and they produce over 1500 kilograms per season. Premium farm also has a plantation of oranges covering 4 acres. These oranges and mangoes produced by premium farm are mainly consumed by brisk restaurant and the locals in Kungu and Najjera who purchase from the selling point.
Premium farm is headed by a General Manager who is in charge of Recruitment and discharge of staff, Verification of cows and goats, Equipment and production, Allocation of staff, tools and equipment and acting as the main Accounting Officer of the farm.
The farm has a qualified Accountant in charge of: Making requisitions for expenses, Verifying farm purchases, Making proper postings to ledger accounts, Making financial reports, Monthly budgets and payrolls.
Strength of Premium Farm
The farm has adequate labour and land to grow pasture to feed the current stock of cows. Crop residues such as Matooke and Maize stems from both Mityana and Kayunga farms can be used to feed our cows.
The farm is located a few kilometers from the city Centre with good roads connecting to major high ways which facilitates easy movements to transport both materials for cattle feeds and milk and milk products for sale.
Challenges Faced by The Farm
Dairy enterprise is capital intensive. Also the marketable products the milk and milk products are highly perishable and have short shelf life.
However, with the high level of entrepreneurial skills and commitment of the entrepreneurs shall take care of these weaknesses.
Health of The Farm
Premium farm has 3 farm doctors; Dr. Ayebare Angel who is responsible for general welfare of the farm, treatment and any other disease that breaks up at the farm. Dr. Issa Lukwago is the artificial insemination specialist from Bimeda. He is responsible for insemination and breeding programs. Dr. Kirumira Stephen is responsible for the daily farm operations ranging from general hygiene of the farm, feed quality and animal welfare. The farm has 2 Supervisors, 7 workers responsible for milking, 6 workers responsible for feeding cows and general cleanliness of the farm and one person in charge of sales. It has 10 workers in Kayunga who plant and harvest elephant grass, 15 workers in Mityana farm and 12 support staff in Sekanyonyi farm.
Bio-security measures including fencing to restrict access by visitors, dogs and other animals are followed to prevent incidence of disease, furthermore the farm has a foot dip at the point of entry.
Cattle sheds are regularly cleaned and disinfected. Spraying the cows is done on a weekly basis. The cows are fed a balanced feed and provided with clean drinking water.
The sick animals are kept away from the rest of the herd during the period of their illness and cows with weak traits are also isolated until all the unwanted weaknesses are corrected. The newly purchased cows are not allowed to mix with the herd for about 6 weeks.
Timely vaccination against known diseases like foot and mouth is done as advised by our farm veterinary doctors.
Timely deworming and detection of heat, reproduction monitoring such as pregnancy diagnosis, mastitis prevention and control and care of hoof are ensured to increase farm productivity.
Artificial Insemination services are provided by our AI specialist for quality progenies. All farm animals are subjected to a specified bull that caters for all the weak traits with the purpose of improving the next herd and influence high milk production for the generations. Cattle Identification Numbers with plastic ear tags are used for animal identification. Individual cattle registers/books are maintained at the lower farm for use by the supervisors and farm veterinary doctors.
Property, Plant and Equipment
The head office of Premium Diary Farm is located in Najjera-Kkungu Kira Municipality Wakiso District of Uganda.