State to review GMO rule as animal feed prices jump


Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries PS Harry Kimtai. PHOTO | SALATON NJAU | NMG

The government has started the process of reviewing a directive that animal feed imports be 100 percent GMO free, a requirement that has seen traders fail to ship in yellow maize.

The move comes just weeks after Ukraine, which was the main source of yellow maize for millers, is in turmoil following its invasion by Russia, which has hampered logistics along the Black Sea as most ships keep off the area.

Livestock Principal Secretary Harry Kimtai said they will be meeting this week to review the initial directive and assess the progress so far since millers were allowed to import yellow maize last November.

The traders have been unable to bring in even a single bag of the produce citing the directive which they describe as punitive and not practical.

“We are meeting with stakeholders to review the requirement that could see us adjust the compliance on non-GMO to European standards in order to allow traders to ship in this yellow maize to lower the cost of feeds,” said Mr Kimtai.

European standards

The European standards have a less stringent minimum GMO purity of 99.1 percent which processors manufacturers had requested the state to apply on the importation of yellow maize.

Millers had written to the government last month wanting it to review the requirement in order to allow traders to ship in the produce as most of them were scared that their commodity would end being confiscated by the authorities for not conforming to the set standards.

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.

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