October 4, 2007
Chicken feed shortage hits Uganda
Uganda's poultry industry has been hit by a lack of chicken feeds.
The shortage of cotton cake, mukene (silver fish) and corn in the country, three of the main feed ingredients in the industry, is causing great concern in the industry, Agha Ssekalala, the managing director of Ugachick poultry and animal feeds said recently.
There are about 60 million chicken in Uganda with over seven million of these hybrids, that have to be fed on processed feeds.
Mukene supply has been drastically going down in the past few months as the ministry of agriculture has banned fishing of the fish from Lake Albert for a few months this year. Supply remained low despite the lifting of the ban. High demand in neighbouring Congo and Sudan is making the situation worse.
Cotton feeds, another key ingredient is also in short supply. Previously, most of the seeds for making these cakes were got from northern Uganda. Now, they have to be imported from Tanzania, stoking a price increase of 37 percent.
Although the prices of raw materials have been going up, chicken producers like Ugachick and other feeds producers have not increased the prices to limit the impact on the industry, says Ssekalala.
However, the price of chicken and eggs have already gone up.
There are herbal alternatives to processed chicken feeds, which include bean leaves and sunflower seeds. However, according to experts, these offer only 30 percent of the total dietary needs of the chicken.