Animal feeds to get costlier as war locks out Ukraine’s yellow maize


Yellow maize being offloaded at Mombasa port. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Traders are stuck with permits for the importation of yellow maize, even as the price of animal feeds hit an all-time high.

Imports have been hindered by high prices of non-GMO maize in the market and war in Ukraine, where the animal feed manufacturers were targeting as the only source market.

The government had issued permits to selected processors and traders in November last year on the condition that they import yellow maize that is 100 percent non-GMO.

“We cannot import now because of what is happening in Ukraine, which is the only country at the moment with yellow maize that is not GMO,” the Association of Kenya Feeds Manufacturers said in a statement.

The decision to allow yellow maize imports followed a directive by President Uhuru Kenyatta to the Treasury and Agriculture ministry to come up with a measure to tame the high cost of feeds.

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

The manufacturers had written to Treasury last month asking them to review the 100 percent rule on GMO to at least 99.3 percent, a standard applied by the European Union.

“Now we cannot access the Ukraine market and even whatever stocks that are there are very expensive because of the logistical challenges caused by the ongoing war."

Ukraine's military had suspended commercial shipping at its ports after Russian forces invaded the country while Moscow had earlier ordered the Azov Sea closed to the movement of commercial vessels until further notice.

The decision to import yellow maize was approved by Treasury to offer an intervention on the price of feeds but the importers are unable to commence the process as they cannot find produce that is 100 percent non-GMO in other parts of the world except Ukraine.

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