May 6, 2005


Kenyan feed millers finding ways to make feed affordable



Industry experts in Nairobi have met in a conference to discuss chicken as a cheaper food. In Kenya a chicken meal is more expensive than other alternative sources of protein.


The prohibitive cost of chicken meat is due to the high costs of feeds which account for up to 70 per cent of the production costs. Feed manufacturers have recently formed an umbrella body called Association of Kenya Feed Manufacturers. One of their key objectives is to come up with standards and policy recommendations to regulate the feed milling industry.


With the collapse of the cotton and sunflower production sectors, feed millers in Nairobi have had to import raw materials, often at exorbitant prices from its neighbouring countries.


Kenya is still the only country dependent on sardines as the main source of essential animal protein in feed production. This is because of poor protein availability from plants. The main interest to the Kenyan feed millers is the opportunity to make a low cost feed but an effective one at that.


They recognized that feed standards should be improved to be in tandem with International benchmarks. A solution to improve their cost position would be to adopt technological advancements to produce feed cost-efficiently and in line with the current international standards as well.


Experts have suggested that by adding enzymes to raw feed materials, Kenyan feed millers will be able to effectively enhance the range of the raw materials available, and obtain a Feed Conversion Ration of 2. The use of Fiberase is another way to increase the food value in feed production, while making it more affordable.


Farmers using the improved feed will witness numerous benefits as well, like lower mortality, shorter production cycles and improved litter conditions. Ultimately, these savings will be passed on to poultry consumers in a region where poverty is prevalent.