What you need to know:
- Farmers are grappling with rising costs of crucial ingredients.
Farmers are staring at yet another increase in the cost of animal feeds after the price of key supplements rose for a second time in a span of one month.
Cost of items such as soya meal, which is normally imported from countries like Malawi, Zambia and Uganda have gone up from Sh65 for a kilo last month to Sh70, while a kilo of maize germ, which is normally acquired locally from millers has shot up to Sh28 from Sh22 previously.
Mr Joseph Karuri, chairman of the Association of Kenya Animal Feeds Manufacturers, said the rising cost of these supplements has pushed up the cost of meals with the situation expected to worsen as the maize supply in the country is projected to tighten in the coming months.
“We are heading towards tough times. This is just the beginning of higher prices as the cost of maize in the market is also going up with supplies expected to dwindle in coming months,” said Mr Karuri.
The cost of a 70 kilogramme bag of chick mash has now gone up from Sh3,500 to Sh3,700, grower mash is now selling at Sh3,000 up from Sh2,800 and layers mash is going for Sh3,000 from Sh2,800.
Millers are also projecting that the cost of other major supplements such as sunflower cake, which is mainly imported from Tanzania and Uganda, will go up owing to a weaker shilling against the dollar.
Locally, millers have also scaled down operations creating a shortage of the byproducts for animal feeds manufacturers, pushing up the price of other supplements such as maize germ, wheat bran and pollard.
Last month, a kilo of wheat bran shot up from Sh14 to Sh20 while wheat pollard rose from Sh25 to Sh28 for the same quantity.
Mr Karuri said they are waiting to see if the reopening of schools will push up the demand of flour and increase the quantities of byproducts from millers, which in turn will lower the cost of these items.
Maize and wheat millers had cut down on processing because of unmoving stocks of maize flour on the shelf that has left them stuck with huge quantities of unsold products.