ANIMAL FEED

Relief for feed millers as 40,000 metric tons of yellow maize arrives

The yellow maize is getting into the country at a cost of Sh5,600 per 90kg bag.

In Summary

•Martin Kinoti, secretary general, Association of Kenya Feed Manufacturers (AKEFEMA) said the 40,000 metric tons of non-GMO yellow maize will go to only four companies.

•“This is just a drop in the ocean. It has been a challenge accessing any non-GMO yellow maize anywhere across the world,” he said.

Zachary Munyambu, a poultry farmer in Kiambu county says many poultry farmers are closing their business due to the high costs of feeds.
HIGH COST OF FEEDS: Zachary Munyambu, a poultry farmer in Kiambu county says many poultry farmers are closing their business due to the high costs of feeds.
Image: AGATHA NGOTHO

Feed millers can momentarily breathe a sigh of relief following the arrival of a consignment of non-genetically modified yellow maize in the country.

Martin Kinoti, secretary general, Association of Kenya Feed Manufacturers (AKEFEMA) however said the 40,000 metric will go to only four companies.

“This is just a drop in the ocean. It has been a challenge accessing any non-GMO yellow maize anywhere across the world,” he said.

He spoke to journalists on Tuesday during a media science meeting on the role of agri-biotech for a sustainable animal feed system in Kenya.

Tye meeting was  organised by the Open Forum on Agricultural Biotechnology in Africa (OFAB).   

Kinoti said that the maize came from Ukraine through Serbia and Romania.

“It is difficult to get non-GMO maize anywhere in the world or get maize directly from Ukraine due to the war," he said.

Kinoti said it is just by good luck that an international commodity dealer who has a local presence had a bit of stock and they were able to send it to the companies. 

He said a bag of imported yellow maize now costs Sh5,600 per 90kg bag while white maize in the region is currently selling at between Sh5,000 to Sh6,000.

Another consignment of yellow maize is expected into the country on August 7, 2022, according to the Kenya Ports Authority’s (KPA) 14 day shipping list. 

Kinoti said the animal feed industry uses about one and half million metric tonnes of both white and yellow maize a year.

“We require about 350,000 metric tonnes of yellow maize to be able to say that we will not have too much pressure," he said.

Kinoti said this can only happen if the country’s deficit of six million bags for human consumption is covered first.

"If the Government can allow us to import this volume every year, then the animal feed sub-sector would be stable,” he said. 

Animal feeds being offloaded at Konyao centre.
HIGH COST OF FEEDS: Animal feeds being offloaded at Konyao centre.
Image: COURTESY

On May 20, Agriculture CS Peter Munya issued a gazette notice waiving import duty for white non-GMO maize brought into the country on or before August 6.

This was later extended for another three months as sourcing the commodity proved difficult to feed millers.