KENYA – The Kenyan government has given eighteen millers a one-year window exempting them from paying import duty on 577,050 metric tonnes of raw materials used in the manufacture of animal and chicken feeds.
The exemption is meant to cushion farmers against the high cost of animal feeds that have been triggered by drought in various parts of the country and which was declared a national disaster by President Uhuru Kenyatta on September 8, 2021.
Under the East African Customs Management Act 2004, relief good used in emergency situations are exempted from import duty.
To this end, from November 1, 2021, up to October 31, 2022, the licensed millers have been given the green light to import raw materials used in the manufacture of animal and chicken feeds duty-free.
The millers will be allowed to import 225,950MT of yellow maize, 126,300MT of soya bean meal, and 58,250MT of soya bean for use in the manufacture of animal feeds.
Additionally, they will import 20,500MT of cotton seed cake, 83,300 of sunflower seed cake, 34,000MT of white sorghum, and 28,750MT of fish meal, reports KBC.
The companies selected include Belfast Millers Limited, Unga Farm Care (EA) Limited, Pembe Flour Mill Limited, Mombasa Maize Millers Limited, Economy Farm Feeds Product (K) Limited, Isinya Feeds Limited and Bidco Africa Limited.
Others are Treasure Feeds Limited, Sigma Feeds Limited, Rift Valley Products Limited, Organic Proteins Limited, Muringa Limited, Maisha Flour Mills Limited and Kitale Industries Limited.
The millers are however barred from importing genetically modified raw materials as allowed under the schedule.
The yellow maize is further required to have a moisture content not exceeding 135% with aflatoxin levels shall not exceed ten parts per billion (ppb) as specified by the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS).
The imports are also required to have certificate of conformity issued by KEBS and be used exclusively for the manufacture of animal and chicken feeds.
Under the EAC Common External Tariff, a kilogram of soya bean, cotton seeds, as well as sunflower seeds, attract a duty of 10% while yellow maize attracts an import duty of 25%.
Livestock farmers have raised alarm over the escalating feed prices which according to Githunguri Dairy Famers Co-operative Society Chairman George Kinuthia, had jumped from Ksh.500 (US$4.4) for a 50kg bag of animal feeds to Kshs.1200 (US$10) within a year, a factor that has continued to suppress farmer earnings and cause shortage of food.
This according to reports by The Star, is attributed to Zambia, a key source of animal feed imports to Kenya, banned the exports of soya and sunflower, which are the major raw materials used in feed production.
With the ban, the price of soya rose to Ksh130 (US$1.15) per kg from Ksh65 (US$0.58)a year ago, while sunflower increased from Ksh25 (US$0.22) to Ksh35 (US$0.31) per kilo.