LOBBYING

Local farmers want poultry imports halted, citing oversupply

In April, President Uhuru Kenyatta urged farmers to increase production so that Kenyans are not hungry during the Covid-19 crisis

In Summary
  • This comes at a time when FKPF cited an oversupply of the local chicken triggering, farmers to sell their processed meat at throw away prices if imports are allowed into the country.
  • Kenya has a surplus of 253 days in chicken inventory meaning that despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the projected supply for poultry products will be good to last at least until the second half of 2021.
Chicken farming.
Chicken farming.
Image: FILE

The Federation of Kenya Poultry Farmers (FKPF) has asked the department of veterinary services and livestock production to temporarily suspend the importation of processed poultry products from East African countries.

This comes at a time when the farmer lobby group cited an oversupply of the local chicken triggering, farmers to sell their processed meat at throw away prices if imports are allowed into the country.

“In order to preserve the remaining production potential for 2020, the importation of poultry meat and poultry products must cease as soon as possible so that the industry, especially those at the breeder stage of the value chain, can hold on until times are less volatile,” FKPF said.

The group pointed out that such request is not unprecedented since poultry associations in Europe have asked for similar relief to prevent an oversupply crisis in the sector during the pandemic.

In a letter to the Department of Veterinary Services (DVS), and Department of Livestock Production (DLP), the lobby group, urgently requested that the importation of poultry meat and poultry products be suspended on the weight of oversupply of broilers in the local market.

“Local production has been more than market demand since May 2020, due to the call by the President Uhuru Kenyatta for farmers to increase production during Covid-19,” FKPF told DVS and DLP.

In April, President Uhuru Kenyatta urged farmers to increase production so that Kenyans are not hungry during the Covid-19 crisis.

“I encourage our traders and farmers in fresh produce to continue with their agricultural activities, so as to ensure continued supply of the farm produce to our markets. Farm produce embodies the diversity of Kenya.” Uhuru said.

A press statement issued by the Kenya Poultry Breeders Association the same month, also urged poultry farmers to increase production.

“We foresee massive shortage of chicken and eggs supply in the next coming months due to decline in day old chicks’ placement over the past three weeks. Therefore, we are encouraging our farmers not to stop growing chicken because there is a bigger opportunity coming soon,” the association said.

Kenya has a surplus of 253 days in chicken inventory meaning that despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the projected supply for poultry products will be good to last at least until the second half of 2021.

“I urge Kenyans to consume more chicken than pork supply of which is currently on a downtrend,”said President of Federation of Poultry Farmers, Monica Wanjiru.

As of May 20, the inventory for dressed chicken frozen inventory stood at 71.86 million kilos, a data from the Kenya Poultry and Breeders Association (KPBA) and this only pertains only to cold storage facilities accredited by the KPBA.

The comment of DVS has been sought regarding this issue, but they hadn’t replied by press time.