Stakeholders call for reforms of Kenya’s poultry industry to curb influx of poultry products in the market

KENYA – Kenyan poultry products producers have called for reforms in the poultry sector with an aim of maintaining balance between local poultry producers and importers aimed at protecting the industry.

Lobbies representing poultry farmers and traders claim that poultry products from the US and Brazil have flooded the Kenyan market.

Further concerns have risen following the US Trade Mission held in Nairobi which is deemed likely to open the floodgates for US chicken imports that are already hurting local business.

“We understand that Kenya enjoys a duty and quota free window in exporting goods to the US under the Africa Growth Opportunity Act but this should not be a reciprocal measure as it will kill small-scale poultry farming,” the lobby groups stated.

Animal Feed Manufacturers, Kenya Poultry Farmers Association and the Kenya Poultry Breeders have so far written to the State seeking intervention.

This comes in the light of the Agriculture ministry lobbing Parliament for a legal framework to set up a Food Safety Authority to monitor quality of food in the market.

Agriculture secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri appearing in before the National Assembly’s committee stated that, “The issue of food safety is of concern to the ministry. It is a high time we came up with food safety authority. We want you to give it a political voice once we establish this authority.”

In February early this year the South African Poultry Association (SAPA) called for interventions to protect the local poultry industry as chicken imports hit 538 434 tonnes in 2018 putting more pressure on domestic market.

According to data from the association, the imports hit a new record high last year increasing from 528 108 tons recorded in 2016 with majority of the imports originating from Brazil, the United States and European Union.

In its efforts to protect the local industry, the South African Poultry Association (SAPA) proposed hefty hike in tariffs from 37% to 82% ad valorem for bone-in cuts of chicken and a massive jump from 12% to 82% ad valorem for boneless cuts of chicken imports.

This had catapulted the tariff battle between local poultry producers and importers with each proposing diverse opinion on the matter.

However, stakeholders moved to streamline the industry and through the Department of Trade and Industry (dti) agreed to work together in developing the Poultry Master Plan of South Africa that will also open up new export markets for South African poultry.

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