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Commodities

Animal feed makers want duty free yellow maize imports

 dairy meal
A worker offloads bags of dairy meal from a truck. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Animal feed manufacturers want the government to open a duty-free window for importation of yellow maize to avert a looming shortage in April that would push prices higher

The Association of Kenya Animal Feeds Manufactures (AKFEMA) says they should be allowed to import four million bags of the maize in order to lower the current high cost of feeds, which is expected to rise further from April once they exhaust the current stocks.

The association’s publicity secretary John Gathogo says there would be more pressure on white maize starting April with tight supply expected to impact on prices of the feeds.

“We urge the government to move with speed and allow importation of yellow maize in order to avoid an expected hike on prices of the animal feeds starting April,” said Mr Gathogo.

The millers say they are getting limited stocks from the North Rift as a result of the shortage in production that was witnessed in the last season crop.

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Maize production dropped by 10 million bags during the main harvesting season last year in what the government attribute to delayed rains, which coincided with planting season in March.

They blamed the current high cost of animal feeds on the failure by the government to approve importation of yellow maize last year after the memorandum had been presented to the government in August.

Animal feed prices have been at a three-year high, with manufacturers warning of further rise if there would be no immediate intervention, following high cost of procuring white maize with a 90 kilogramme bag of the produce now selling for Sh3,000.

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