- A 70kg bag of layers’ mash is selling at Sh4,500, up from Sh3,800 in April last year.
- A similar bag of chick mash is going for Sh4,940, up from Sh4,200, while dairy meal is selling at Sh2,850, up from Sh2,500.
Consumers have started feeling the pinch of the high cost of feed as prices of eggs reach a record high of Sh600 a tray in some outlets as farmers abandon the venture.
This is because the cost of a tray of eggs has shot from an average of Sh350 last year to between Sh450 and Sh600.
Wairimu Kariuki, the chairperson Kenya Poultry Farmers Association, told the Star on Friday that currently a tray of eggs is selling at between Sh450 and as high as Sh600 depending on the outlet from Sh350-Sh380 last year.
She attributed this to many poultry farmers abandoning their venture due to the high cost of feed.
“Many poultry farmers have quit poultry farming due to the high cost of animal feed in the country. This means you have few farmers selling the product hence the high cost of a tray of eggs,” she said.
Kariuki added that feed manufacturers are having to compete for the little available white maize with maize flour millers.
This, she said, is putting pressure on white maize which is scarce or sometimes not available and this has pushed the prices of animal feed.
A 70kg bag of layers’ marsh is selling at Sh4,500 from Sh3,800 in April last year, chick mash is going for Sh4,940 from Sh4,200 while dairy meal is selling at Sh2,850 from Sh2,500.
“Until this stabilises, we are going to have more poultry farmers closing shop and this is likely to lead to further increase in the price of eggs in the market,” Kariuki said.
Kenya gets the bulk of imports from Uganda to help stabilise the local prices, the cost of a tray has shot from Sh205 in December to Sh308 currently.
Kariuki said this has made it difficult for Kenyan traders to buy from the neighbouring country as they will have to incur another cost in transport, making it expensive when it gets to the country.
Zachary Munyambo chairman Kiambu Poultry Farmers’ Cooperative said at the farm gate, a tray is selling at between Sh385-Sh390 and the same is retailing at Sh420.
According to the Association of Kenya Feed Manufacturers, the Ministry of Agriculture had opened a duty-free window for yellow maize last year.
This was aimed at allowing millers and traders to ship in the commodity for processing of feeds to help lower the cost.
Akefema secretary general Martin Kinoti said the prices of animal feed have remained at record high levels for nearly a year.
The duty free yellow maize that millers imported last year did not play much role in lowering the cost as it landed in Kenya at much higher price than it had been anticipated.
He called on the government to remove duty on all animal feed raw materials, especially vitamins that are used in the manufacture of feed.
“The government should not relent in its determination to utilise all available options towards improving the food security situation in the country," Kariuki said.
"This includes the adoption of biotechnology products such as GMO foods that have been tested and found safe for human and animal consumption through the necessary peer review mechanisms and regulatory frameworks.”