January 24, 2011


Uganda's corn exports cause local chicken feed shortage



Uganda's rising corn export business has caused shortages of the grain on the domestic market.


This could force many poultry farmers out of business since corn is a major raw material in making chicken feeds, analysts said.


Uganda exports corn to Kenya, southern Sudan and Tanzania.


In the past two months, the cost of production shot up by 60%, making the business uncompetitive, according to the Poultry Association of Uganda.


The farmers said it now costs UGX2,500 (US$1.07) to produce a tray of eggs and UGX7,000 (US$2.99) to raise a broiler to saleable age.


Because of the rise in the cost of raw materials, the association increased the farm-gate prices of eggs to UGX5,500 (US$2.35) from UGX4,800 (US$2.05). The chickens go for UGX8,000 (US$3.42) compared with UGX5,500 (US$2.35).


"We call on the Government to intervene and ensure that at least only maize flour is exported. Otherwise, this lucrative industry may collapse to the disadvantage of the thousands of Ugandans it supports," said Aga Ssekalala, an executive.


The 50 poultry farmers were meeting at the UMA hall at Lugogo to discuss the constraints facing the sector.

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