The Treasury has waived import duty on seven raw materials used to manufacture animal and chicken feeds in a bid to ease the pain on farmers grappling with high costs.
The one-year waiver applies to imports of yellow maize, soya bean meal, cottonseed cake, white sorghum, fish meal and sunflower seed cake sourced from the East African region from the start of last month to October 31 next year.
The move is meant to bring down the cost of animal feeds that has seen farmers pass the increased costs to consumers through expensive foods.
“An exemption from import duty shall apply in respect of imported raw materials used in the manufacture of animal and chicken feed imported between the 1st November 2021 and 31st October 2022 by licensed Millers approved by the Government,” Treasury minister Ukur Yatani said in a notice.
Mr Yatani added that the exempted products must not be Genetically Modified and shall only be used for the production of animal feeds.
Some 19 millers licensed by the State will enjoy the waiver that is expected to bring down the cost of animal feeds and see consumers pay less for foods at the retailer shelves.
Farmers are grappling with the high cost of the raw products that saw animal feeds hit historic highs in August, with farmers passing the costs to consumers in the form of expensive foods.
A 70-kilogram bag of the dairy meal is retailing at Sh3,400 from Sh2,500 in August last year while to the marsh is going for Sh4,200 from Sh3,250. Layers marsh now sells at Sh3, 800 from Sh3,100.
The waiver follows a presidential directive to the Treasury and Ministry of Agriculture to come up with interventions aimed at lowering the high prices.
A shortage of by-products for processing as millers scaled back on flour output due to low demand on shop shelves led to the record high prices for the feeds.
Zambia— one of the main source markets of soya and sunflower beans to Kenya— froze export of the two products to Nairobi in August a move that disrupted the supply chain of the two raw materials.
Kenya relies on imports of sunflower seed cake from Tanzania while Uganda and Malawi are also key source markets of soya.