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Kenya’s poultry farmers protest against discounted imports

Farmers in Kenya are protesting against the influx of hugely discounted poultry imports, including suspected transhipment allegedly from Uganda.

Illegal imports from the neighbouring country threatens local production, according to Humphrey Mbugua, chairman of the Kenya Poultry Breeders Association, adding that processed chicken from Uganda has flooded the market at nearly half price. Chicken is imported and sold at 250 Shilling (US$ 2.36) against a local production cost of 290 Shilling (US$ 2.74) per kilo. These imports are reaching quantities of between 225 and 40 tonnes a week.

Kenyan poultry production is threatened by illegal imports. Photo: Falco
Kenyan poultry production is threatened by illegal imports. Photo: Falco

The East African reports that in a letter addressed to Livestock Principal Secretary Harry Kimutai, the Kenya Poultry Breeders Association claims some imports from the US and Turkey are repackaged stating Uganda as the country of origin in order to take advantage of the fast-growing local market.

“[Our farmers] cannot compete with Ugandan imports because they are way cheaper than locally produced chicken,” said Mbugua, calling on the government to intervene. “We hereby urge the government to consider the plight of Kenyan farmers, employees and the economy as a whole by restricting chicken imports from Uganda as this is going to destabilise the industry and economy as a whole,” said Mbugua. Uganda has imposed a cumulative 25% duty on Kenyan poultry products, but exports from Uganda enter Kenya duty-free.