Kenyan poultry farmers in trouble

28-01-2009 | |

Poultry farmers in Kenya may be forced to reduce their flock due to the high price of feed. Some have opted out of commercial poultry farming due to low returns from sale of bird products after spending so much on rearing them.

“Getting feeds has become a nightmare and many farmers are opting out of the poultry business. There will be a crisis very soon,” said Wairimu Kariuki, chairlady of the Kenya Poultry Farmers Association.

The association says the high prices of feeds prompts a reduction of birds reared, a move that may trigger a shortage or a price increase of poultry products in the market. The hardest hit are commercial farmers rearing exotic layers and broiler breeds who rely heavily on manufactured feed.

Manufacturers of poultry feed have been in talks with the government to allow import of raw materials and to release part of the strategic grain reserve for animal feeds. The government has appointed four firms—Mombasa Maize Millers, Corn Products Corporation, Pembe Flour and Nouis Pryefus, an international commodities dealer— to import a million bags of yellow maize.

Kinoti says the imports will help ease pressure on the high prices of poultry feeds as they can sustain the industry for three months. Players are, however, hopeful that with the start of the long rains due in three months there will be enough supply of raw materials, pushing down the prices of all feeds down.

Natalie Kinsley Freelance journalist
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