Maize shortage forces closure of animal feeds firms

Business Daily Kenya:  Nicholas Waitathu @peopledailyKE Shortage of raw material for production of animal feeds in the country has forced ...

Business Daily Kenya: 

Maize farming in Kenya. Photo/FILE

Nicholas Waitathu @peopledailyKE

Shortage of raw material for production of animal feeds in the country has forced 25 per cent of manufacturers to close shop.

Association of Kenya Feeds Manufacturers (Akefema), which has a membership of over 90 milling firms, said lack of adequate maize supply in the market has forced local manufactures to close their operations thus compounding livestock farming in the country.

Humphrey Mbugua, the Association Manager explained that prices of animal feeds are picking up, equally forcing about 40 per cent of his members to reduce production to below 50 per cent and even lay off workers.

This is happening despite the recent arrival of 74,150 metric tonnes of yellow maize from Ukraine meant for livestock feeds. Livestock Principal Secretary, Andrew Tuimur confirmed yesterday that over 823,889 bags of yellow maize are already at Mombasa port being offloaded. He assured that the situation will improve as more imports continue trickling in.

“Even though there is low supply of raw materials to manufacture animal feeds, farmers are relying on silage following the long rains,” he said. Government waived and gazetted importation of five million bags, or 450 000 tonnes of yellow corn from Ukraine last April to boost local supplies for the first time in five years at an estimated cost of over Sh10 billion.

Government approved 22 millers to import yellow maize. Akefema said the manufacturers have been hit hard by the current shortage forcing them to accumulate stocks for up to a whole week before resuming operations.

The price of a 70-kilogramme bag of chicken layers mash has increased to an average Sh3,045 from Sh2,400 last November. The price of dairy meal has increased by Sh500 to sell at Sh2,380 per 70 kg bag from Sh1,500 in November, 2016.

Kenya Livestock Producers Association (KLPA) members are also grappling with high cost of production resulting in increase in prices of some products like meat, milk and eggs. Chief Executive Officer, Patrick Kimani said prices will continue to remain high for the next three months before millers receive adequate supplies of yellow maize.

“Even as yellow maize imports arrived at Mombasa port, the earliest we can experience a price drop is after three months. Since early this year prices have been high, putting pressure on local producers of livestock who have to rely on commercial feeds to supplement silage,” he said on phone .

The post Maize shortage forces closure of animal feeds firms appeared first on Mediamax Network Limited.

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