New chamber president says middlemen killing poultry industry

In Summary

•  Incoming president Richard Ngatia said the middlemen must be eliminated to save the sector.

• He was confirmed after other contestants, James Mureu and Abdulwalli Sharrif stepped down.

KNCCI chairman Kiprono Kittony (Third, Left, seated) and incoming president Richard Ngatia on Monday, May 13, 2019
KNCCI chairman Kiprono Kittony (Third, Left, seated) and incoming president Richard Ngatia on Monday, May 13, 2019

Middlemen are hindering trade in  Kenyan poultry products making it difficult to compete with Uganda, according to the Kenya National Chamber o Commerce boss

 Incoming president Richard Ngatia said the middlemen must be eliminated to save the sector.

“This will be possible through education on improving value addition and having representatives at the chamber,” Ngatia said after his confirmation yesterday.

He was confirmed after other contestants, James Mureu and Abdulwalli Sharrif stepped down.

Since last year, farmers and entrepreneurs in the sector have been protesting over the the influx of cheap eggs from Uganda, complaining they are struggling to break even due to the high cost of feed and low returns.

According to Kenya Poultry Famers Association  chairman Wairimu Kariuki, the Kenyan market is faced with other challenges including low consumption levels and large quantities from the neighbouring country.

However, middlemen have just made the business less profitable.

Currently the production cost of a crate of eggs is at an average of Sh280, which sells between at an average of Sh310.

“Uganda market has been advantage to their low production costs and if you would like to market you probably buy egg from Uganda and not Thika. This calls for the need to improve on better processing of eggs,” she added.

She also disputed that market was flooded, claiming it was stable without flooding or an abnormal demand.

 

In March, Trade PS Chris Kiptoo Said that the government will not stop the importation of eggs and milk from Uganda as restrictive trade measures would attract similar action from the largest buyer of Kenyan goods.

However, he said that the ministry would work on the formation of Kenya Trade Agency (KETRA) to protect any form of dumping and maintain sale at market value.

Due to this, Ngatia said he would also be keen on expanding markets and improving the business conditions.

His remarks follows reports by Stanbic Kenya  PMI report that showed operating conditions for Kenyan businesses had deteriorated in the month of April. Some issues attributed in this included low cash flow in the economy affecting the output levels and input price inflation due to increase in purchasing costs.

New orders were relatively unchanged in period with firms stating the low money circulation forced customers to reduce order book volumes.