July 2, 2020
Kenyan poultry farmers manufacture own feed to stay in business
Poultry farmers in Kenya have collaborated to produce their own feed to reduce production costs amid a difficult economic climate caused by COVID-19, Kenya News Agency reported.
The farmers, part of the Kiambu Poultry Farmers' Cooperative Society obtain feed and chicks at low prices. The cooperative has 800,000 layers, 400,000 broilers and 200,000 chickens.
Zakary Munyambu, the group's coordinator said they also deliver the feed and chicks to members directly for convenience.
To produce the feed, raw materials such as maize, sunflower seed cake, lime, wheat bran, rice polish, supplements mineral acids are sourced locally as well as in Uganda and Tanzania.
The group is able to produce 200 bags of feed daily and sold based on demand.
The group's savings and credit cooperative organization (SACCO) was established in September 2019 at KES 800,000 (~US$7,509; KES 100 = US$0.94) share capital from 2,000 members. It currently has a KES 4 million (~US$37,549) share capital with investments into mixers, millers, computers, scales and employs 11 workers.
John Mwaniki, production manager said the SACCO was formed as poultry production costs are high when compared to other countries in East Africa, leaving farmers and local manufacturers at a disadvantage.
He said Tanzania sells its 50 kg feed at KES 800 (~US$7.51), compared to domestic prices of KES 2,500 (~US$23.47).
Mwaniki said local poultry farmers can join cooperatives to save operations costs.
Patrick Wainaina, the MP for Thika has assisted the grouo through the donation of an incubator and mixer, as well as the proposal of the Safeguard Bill in parliament. The bill, now in an advanced stage, proposes to block imports of products that can be domestically produced.
The bill comes after local farmers voiced concerns of domestic poultry farming producing poor profits. Wainaina said the bill can help the revive the Kenyan economy badly affected by COVID-19.
The bill will protect 300 products including eggs and milk. Last year, Kenyan farmers urged for the bill to pass after the country was flooded with cheaper eggs imported from China and Uganda.
- Kenya News Agency