Commodities

Lobby warns of animal feeds cost rise looms on costly maize germ

Akefema

Akefema secretary-general Martin Kinoti. PHOTO | SALATON NJAU | NMG

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Summary

  • Locally produced maize germ is now being sold at Sh25 per kilogramme, up from Sh19 previously.
  • Association of Kenya Feeds Manufacturers (Akefema) secretary-general Martin Kinoti said the price of maize germ from Uganda has also gone up from Sh18 to Sh22 per kilogramme and is also attracting additional cost to remove aflatoxin.
  • Although prices are lower in Uganda compared to Kenya, maize germ made from Ugandan maize is high in aflatoxin, forcing producers to use toxin binders to make it suitable for use.

Animal feed makers have warned that prices could rise following an increase in the cost of maize germ, a key ingredient in most feeds.

Locally produced maize germ is now being sold at Sh25 per kilogramme, up from Sh19 previously.

Association of Kenya Feeds Manufacturers (Akefema) secretary-general Martin Kinoti said the price of maize germ from Uganda has also gone up from Sh18 to Sh22 per kilogramme and is also attracting additional cost to remove aflatoxin.

Although prices are lower in Uganda compared to Kenya, maize germ made from Ugandan maize is high in aflatoxin, forcing producers to use toxin binders to make it suitable for use.

“A 50kg bag of layer, broiler, and dairy feed has risen by Sh200 on average to Sh2,400, Sh3,000, and Sh2,200, respectively as a result of the higher cost of the raw material,” said Mr Kinoti.

Mr Zachary Munyambu, the coordinator of the Kiambu County Poultry Farmers Cooperative Society which also manufactures animal feeds, also attributed the rise in maize germ price to hoarding of maize in Tanzania, where they source most of their by-products.

The rise in feed prices is likely to see consumers pay more for animal products, given that it also comes at a time when wholesale prices have gone up due to production cuts caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

For instance, the price of eggs has gone up in Nairobi, with some retailers demanding up to Sh360 per tray up from Sh280 in April citing higher wholesale prices.

The Kenya Poultry Farmers Association chair Wairimu Kariuki said two weeks ago that the decline in supply in the market had been caused by both reduced imports and a cut in production locally.

She added that the fall in local production was due to Covid-19 forcing large production farms to scale down their activities, as they responded to lack of market following closure of eateries after the government imposed containment measures to control spread of the virus.