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Poultry players seek X-mas imports’ ban

chicken for sale
A farmer transports chicken for sale at a poultry market in Nakuru town. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Animal feeds manufacturers and poultry farmers want meat and egg imports stopped this festive season to safeguard their investment against unwarranted competition.

Association of Kenya Feed Manufacturers (Akefema), Kenya Poultry Breeders and Kenya Poultry Farmers said allowing foreign poultry products’ sale in retail chains adversely affected them as well exposes the public to GMO-reared chicken.

Akefema manager Humphrey Mbugua said Kenya’s poultry industry was well developed and had capacity to meet demand for poultry product during the December holidays.

“Previously, we were consulted before any poultry products were imported into Kenya but the import declaration forms that disclosed source of the products are no longer in use, hence exposing us to unfair competition,” he said.Dr Mbugua said they had last October confirmed some retail outlets were selling American and Brazilian poultry meat, spelling doom for the entire poultry subsector.

He said allowing imports would expose Kenyan poultry keepers and dealers to unfair competition as Brazil and USA were highly developed markets enjoying economies of scale. “They (US and Brazil) have plenty of good quality raw materials due to their farming systems with their final products being choice breast meat that could be sold at much lower prices,” he said.

Poultry farming has come under severe regional competition due to free market treaties with Kenya providing a ready market.

Dr Mbugua said allowing imports would also kill their investments as poultry farmers would shun the trade leading to demise of the feeds market.

Akefema is also working with contracted farmers to grow oil crops and sufficient cereals that are key raw materials for animal feed manufacturing.

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