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Livestock farmers cautioned against buying feed from rogue dealers

Dairy cows feed at a shed in Eldoret. Feed manufacturers say rogue dealers sell products that do not meet recommended standards for market consumption. FILE PHOTO | JARED NYATAYA |
Dairy cows feed at a shed in Eldoret. Feed manufacturers say rogue dealers sell products that do not meet recommended standards for market consumption. FILE PHOTO | JARED NYATAYA |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

Animal feed manufacturers have cautioned farmers against buying the product from outlets not accredited by the Kenya Bureau of Standards (Kebs).

The Association of Kenya Feed Manufacturers (Akefema) said that most of the rogue dealers evade supervision as their feed does not meet recommended standards for market consumption.

Akefema manager Dr Humphrey Mbugua told the Business Daily that animal feed usually comprises various nutrients including protein, vitamins, carbohydrates, fat and other processing additives that have to be mixed in the right proportions.

“If this is not done correctly, it compromises quality of the feed which will end up not benefitting the animal or even harming it.”

He adds: “The animal doesn’t lie. If they don’t get quality feed, there will be no increase in productivity or growth. The farmer will have wasted his or her money.”

Dr Mbugua also urged farmers to always consult with agricultural experts in their region first before purchasing feed so as to know the right place to buy it from.

He adds that agricultural officers such as extension workers will also offer valuable information on the ideal type of feed for each animal depending on what it is expected to produce.

Dr Ngugi also cautioned farmers against making purchasing decisions based solely on prices of available feeds.

“You know cheap can be expensive at times. You should ask yourself why one product is cheaper than all the others as you may be buying something that isn’t good,” he said.

Feed companies in the country are accredited by the Kenya Bureau of Standards.

Aside from ensuring that their members are all registered companies, Akefema also ranks them based on their performance.

Sometimes, says Dr Mbugua, farmers can buy good feed then end up compromising their quality by not handling them well.

For instance, he states that if animal feed is rained on or stored in places without proper aeration, it will then become sub-standard.

Manufacturers also called on farmers to adhere to usage instructions and avoid mixing products from different companies.

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