KENYA – Kenya’s poultry sector is grappling with rising feed costs forcing it to update the cost of eggs upwards from an average of KES360 (US$3) per tray to KES640 (US$5).
An increase in the cost of feed is forcing poultry farmers to reduce their stock due to the inability to maintain it and this leads to the ultimate surge in egg prices because of the shortage now created.
“Feeds account for about 70 per cent of the costs associated with eggs production, the cost of feeds increased and some farmers had to resort to cheaper feeds that have reduced production spiking the cost,” explained Humphery Mbugua a poultry specialist and vet.
The reduced production of eggs due to insufficiency of feed is impacting most retail shops and supermarkets with a low supply of eggs hence the surge in price by about 30% in a span of 6 months.
Leading supermarkets such as Naivas and Quickmart are selling a tray of eggs for KES 499 and KES642 respectively as opposed to the KES360 per tray that used to be the price in May last year.
In an interview with The Star Newspaper, The chairperson of Kenya Poultry Farmers Association, Wairumu Kariuki said that the rise in the cost of products such as maize and rice used in the value chain production of chicken feed has ultimately led to the rise in the cost of feed.
Most poultry farmers are now resorting to selling their chicken to reduce the stock as it is getting more and more difficult to keep the business running.
Chicken feed price has increased by 31% in 6 months from KES3200 in June 2022 to the current KES4200 per kilogram.
All hope is however not lost as the government recently issued a notice directed at the importation of maize and rice to address the shortage of feed.
The Cabinet Secretary for The National Treasury and Economic Planning directed that 900,000 tonnes of white maize grain and 600,000 tonnes of milled rice will be imported into the country duty-free effective 1st of February to 6th of August 2023.
Chicken meat production in Kenya is currently at 35,000 metric tonnes per year while the production of eggs lies at 1.6 billion pieces per year.
Kenya also recently signed a memorandum with World Bank to expand poultry farming in the country. Producers are expected to reach 240,000 birds raised in the next 6 months and this expansion is expected to increase the self-sufficiency rate of both chicken and eggs.
Currently, the main suppliers of poultry products in the Kenyan market are the neighbouring countries such as Ethiopia, Tanzania, and Uganda as domestic supply only manages to cover about 60% of poultry meat and 50% of eggs.