The price of animal feed has shot up by Sh200 across different meals on account of high cost of supplements and a weak shilling, setting stage for expensive animal products for consumers.
The cost of feed supplements such as soya meal, which is normally imported from Malawi, Zambia and Uganda has gone up from Sh53 to Sh65 for a kilo while sunflower cake that is mainly imported from Tanzania is now selling at Sh30 from Sh25 a kilo.
Mr Joseph Karuri, chairman of the Association of Kenya Animal Feeds Manufacturers says the rising cost of these supplements has pushed up the cost of a bag of meal, with the situation expected to continue up to next year February.
“Importing has become expensive because of a weaker shilling against the dollar and the increasing cost of these key supplements that we must import,” said Mr Karuri.
The cost of a 70 kilogramme bag of chick mash has increased from Sh3,500 to Sh3,700, that of grower mash is now selling at Sh3,000 up from Sh2,800 and the layers mash is now going for Sh3,000 from Sh2,800 previously.
The overall effect of the rising cost will be high cost of chicken meat and eggs to consumers as farmers will pass the cost to the end users.
“Consumers are the ones who will absorb this cost as farmers will hike the price of things like eggs, chicken meat and milk,” he said.
Creating a shortage
Locally, grain millers have also scaled down operations creating a shortage of the by-products used for animal feeds manufacture such as maize germ, wheat bran and wheat pollard.
Maize and wheat millers have cut down on processing because of unmoving stocks of maize flour on retail shelves that has left them stuck with huge quantities of unsold products. This is because of reduced purchasing power from consumers who have been hit hard by job losses and pay cuts as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
As a result, a kilo of wheat bran has shot up from Sh14 a kilo to Sh20, maize germ from Sh25 to Sh28, wheat pollard from Sh25 to Sh28 for the same quantity.