November 18, 2019


Kenyan feed association calls for duty-free imports of yellow maize


The Association of Kenya Animal Feed Manufactures (Akfema) wants the Kenyan government to allow duty-free imports of yellow maize in order to avoid a price escalation.

Prices of animal feeds have gone up by as high as KSh500 (US$4.91) a bag across all products.

The retail price of a 70 kilogrammes bag of chick mash had shot up to KSh3,800 (US$37.31) from KSh3,300 (US$32.40) in January while growers mash is retailing at KSh3,300 from KSh2,800 (US$27.49).

The association said the price hike has been precipitated by cost of white maize that has so far hit KSh3,500 (US$US$34.36) for a 90 kilo bag from a low of KSh2,800 (US$27.49) three months back.

They link the rise to failure by the government to approve importation of yellow maize after a memorandum was presented in August.

"Politics should be kept aside and pave the way for immediate importation of yellow maize so as to save farmers from the high cost of animal feeds," said Martin Kinoti, secretary general of Akfema.

Joseph Karuri, the lobby chairman, anticipated shortage of maize from the current season crop coupled with high prices of the commodity.

"There would be no reprieve for farmers next year given the fact that a 10 million bag deficit has been projected from the current crop season, which means there will be a lot of pressure on price, which will keep the cost of feeds up unless we get an alternative," said Karuri.

Animal feed prices are currently at a three-year high, with manufacturers warning of further rise if there is no immediate intervention, following high cost of white maize, which is used in making feeds as well as human flour, hence creating tight competition for the limited stocks.

- Business Daily

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