Animal feed manufactures will get 300,000 bags of maize from the Strategic Food Reserve (SFR) to ease shortage and lower retail prices.
The Ministry of Agriculture agreed with the manufacturers last week that it will issue them with the consignment of grade four maize held at different depots across the country to tame the rising cost of feeds that has hit a three-year high.
The move, which has been welcomed by the Association of Kenya Feeds Manufacturers (Akefema), is, however, expected to give temporary relief.
“We met with the officials from the ministry last week and they have agreed to release 300,000 bags of maize from the National Cereals and Produce Board towards manufacturing of animal feeds. This will play a major role in lowering the current cost,” said Joseph Karuri, chairperson Akefema.
Additionally, Mr Karuri said, the government had agreed to allow them import yellow maize duty free in order to reduce reliance on white maize.
Animal feeds are locally made from the same white maize consumed by humans, creating stiff competition between the two in times of scarcity.
The shortage of the commodity has also impacted negatively on the cost of maize germ meal, which is normally sold to manufacturers by millers as one of the key ingredients in feeds making.
A kilo of the germ has shot up from Sh18 to Sh24.
The high cost of animal feeds is set to increase the cost of dairy production with overall effect expected to be felt by consumers in prices of different animal products such as chicken, milk and eggs.
The price of eggs has already gone up by 11 percent, partly as a result of high cost of production.
The wholesale price of a tray of eggs is now Sh300 from Sh270 in March with retail shops selling the same to consumers at Sh360 or Sh12 a piece.
The price of 70 kilogramme chick marsh that was selling at Sh3,300 as late as last month has now shot to Sh3,600 while growers marsh is now going for Sh3,100 from Sh2,800.
Standard dairy meal is now retailing at Sh4,500 up from Sh4,200.