30 animal feeds firms close shop in two months


A worker carries a bag of animal feeds. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Thirty animal feed manufacturers have closed down in a span of two months as a shortage of raw material and a sharp decline in demand from farmers pushes them out of business, says the Association of Kenya Feed Manufacturers (Akefema).

Manufactures are grappling with a tight supply of important ingredients such as soya and sunflower cake, whose price have more than doubled after Zambia, which is Kenya’s key source market placed a ban on exports.

The shortage of these ingredients has seen the price of feeds, especially poultry shoot up on a weekly basis with a 50 kilogramme bag of Unga Limited layers marsh now retailing at Sh2,850 from Sh2,750 last week.

Of the 30 that are now closed, 15 shut down in the last one month, creating a huge deficit of animal feeds in the market, hence pushing up the cost.

“So far the number of millers that have shut down have hit 30 with 15 of them closing in the last one month, “said John Gathogo, the publicity chair of Akefema.

The price of a 70 kilogramme bag of dairy meal has gone up from Sh2,500 in August last year to Sh3,400 currently, chick marsh is retailing at Sh4,200 from Sh3,250 while layers is now selling at Sh3,800 from Sh3,100.

The high cost of feeds has seen farmers cut down on feeds as they seek to avoid high expenses involved in acquiring them.

Zachary Munyambu of Kiambu Farmers Cooperative Society says out of 750 members of the group, only 430 are still in business with the rest having shut down.

“A lot of our members have closed, running a poultry farm has become unsustainable because of high costs of feeds,” said the farmer.

Millers quest to have government allow them to ship in Genetically Modified yellow maize and soya was dealt a blow after the State said the ban that is still in place cannot warrant importation at the moment.

The processors had requested the government to allow importation of the two produce in order to ease the current cost of raw material.

The cost of Soya has doubled from Sh65 a kilo in August last year to Sh130 currently while sunflower meal has gone up from Sh25 to Sh35 while sunflower meal has gone up from Sh25 to Sh35.