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With the rising costs of feeds in Kenya farmers will now be able to make their own quality feeds by using Nuscience concentrates.
According to the Association of Kenya Feed Manufactures, the price of layers’ marsh has increased from Sh2,450 per 50kg bag to Sh2,550 in the last two to three months.
Chicken marsh was selling at Sh2,750 and it is now at Sh2,850. Dairy meal was selling at Sh15 per kilo by May and the price has now doubled to Sh30 per kilo.
One major challenge, as noted by Akfema secretary general Martin Kinoti is that Kenya does not produce any reasonable quantities of the raw materials used to manufacture the feeds.
They include soybeans and sunflower or cotton whose by-products soya bean meal, sunflower seed cake or meal and cottonseed cake or meal are the major sources of protein in animal feeds.
Kenya depends on imports from Zambia, Tanzania, Uganda and Malawi. Such explains why a tray of eggs from Uganda would sell in Kenya for as low as Sh220.
Kinoti says the increase in raw materials in the past three months is between 25 per cent to 65 per cent while feeds have gone up between 15 per cent and 20 per cent.
“This has therefore resulted in feed-millers operating at a loss and many of them have already closed down operations,” he said.
Mambo Gathungu,Proprietor Lakeside Dairy says he buys a 70 kgbag of dairy meal for Sh2,250 yet at one point it was Sh1,300.
This increase, he says, has to be shifted to the consumer but the monopoly in the market from giant competitors who have the advantage of economies of scale would make it difficult.
“Due to the economy of scale, some small-scale farmers are opting out. When you find that feeds that were enough for 10 animals can only feed three, a farmer will see they are not making a profit and this is bad for food security,” he says.
But while Kenyan farmers are lamenting the high cost of feeds, the association notes that some of the by-products that can be used to manufacture feeds in the country are being exported to other nations that offer better prices. These are wheat pollard, wheat bran and maize germ that end up in Arab nations.
“The result has been a severe shortage and sharp increase in prices of raw materials. For example, wheat bran prices have moved from Sh17 four months ago to Sh24 today,” says Kinoti.