KENYA – Small-scale manufacturers of livestock feeds are side-stepping quality checks due to high service costs leading to low milk output.

Research by the Kenya Markets Trust shows that a Sh4,000 fee charged by the Kenya Bureau of Standards (Kebs) for every test conducted is prohibitive for small scale makers of animal feeds.

“Factors that constrain access to and use of feed analyses services include costs, unreliability of results and inadequate engagement with stakeholders,” the organisation said in a report. According to the research, 28 per cent of feed makers said had their own analysis facilities with only four per cent seeking services from Kebs.

The few who use Kebs services only do so because of proximity to the regulator’s only laboratory in Nairobi, the report says.

Milk output in Kenya remains low with the country producing seven litres per cow compared with South Africa’s 20 litres and Israel’s 27 on average.

The low yield is attributed to substandard feeds. Animal feeds form 80 per cent of the cost of dairy production in Kenya, making the expense one of the most expensive in the region.

The research mapped animal feeds makers and ingredients used.

A recent report by Expatistan revealed that milk is cheaper in South Africa compared to Kenya with a litre going at Sh80 in Durban and Pretoria, Sh84 in Johannesburg and Sh83 in Cape Town while the same quantity is sold at Sh103 in Nairobi.

Business Daily