Let us first introduce ourselves. We are Tristan Smits (19 years old) and Joris Simmes (22 years old), two Dutch students who are following a bachelor degree in agricultural entrepreneurship at the CAH Vilentum University of Applied Sciences, Dronten (The Netherlands). We are in Kuwait for our internship that is part of the second year of our study. Both we would like to see a farm where we can learn a lot and asked Bram Prins if he had some suggestions. He told us that he had some contact with a dairy farm in Kuwait and that this farm should be analysed. During our study, we learned a lot about analysing a farm and did this several times on Dutch farms. The farm in Kuwait is a bit different than the farm in the Netherlands but we were looking forward to this big challenge!
We already expected that the weather in Kuwait would be really hot, so we prepared us and looked for more information about heat stress and side issues. About the people and the culture in Kuwait we didn’t know very much and went open minded to the farm. Now we are here for almost 5 weeks and we know everything about the farm and more about the country and culture in Kuwait. We expected that it would be warm, but these temperatures (around 55 to 60 degrees), is more than we have ever experienced. Our impressions about the heat are good, we got used to it after some days.
The farm is very big with around 1000 animals (young stock to dairy cows). The first week we arrived, it was challenging to go outside and collect data about the farm because we were not used to the weather. The collection of the data was at the beginning a little bit difficult because there is no management data program. Doctor Abdulaziz, the brother of the supervisor of the farm. helped us by translating the questions we had and answers we received from the employees.
Kuwait is a country with a lot of opportunities. There is a very good milk price but in terms of efficiency, ithere is room for improvement. It is very important that the farms in Kuwait use a management program to collect all the data about the animals. If they get some help from outside the efficiency will increase and the profit will be higher.
We are a little bit surprised about the knowledge they have about the cattle. Compared to what we are used to, there is less supervision about the work of the employees. The knowledge about feeding could and should be enhanced. The production of the cows could be higher when they increase their knowledge about feeding.
The biggest learning point for us is to analyse a farm that is under different conditions than we are used to in the Netherlands. Although the different conditions, by analysing the cows properly every dairy farm is the same.
Cow signals are everywhere the same!
We would like to thank Abdulaziz and his brother for their support and this great experience.