Farmers Hopeful That Maize Supplies In October Will Soften Egg Prices

By Lynnet Okumu / Published August 31, 2022 | 12:37 pm




KEY POINTS

A 70-kilogram bag of layer mash is currently selling for between 4,000 and 5,000 shillings, up from 3,800 shillings in April 2022.


maize imports

KEY TAKEAWAYS


Acquiring maize for human consumption itself has been a problem as a 90kg bag of maize has doubled from last year’s price, now costing 5,500 to 6,000 shillings.


According to feed manufacturers and egg wholesalers, the high egg prices will be held at least until grain from Kenya’s maize basket, Rift Valley, comes into the market in October 2022.

A tray of eggs currently retails for between 400 and 500 shillings across the country. Meanwhile, the price list for raw materials used in making poultry feed keeps rising as well. A 70-kilogram bag of layer mash is currently selling for between 4,000 and 5,000 shillings, up from 3,800 shillings in April 2022.

The egg wholesalers claim that feed manufacturers are facing a shortage of maize and soya, which are the most critical components in the formulation of layer feeds. But from October, they expect significant maize supplies to soften feed prices and in turn egg prices.

Kenya remains a net importer of most constituents crucial to layer formation. Traders are sourcing for soya as far out as Zambia. Other constituents of feed such as premix; micronutrients providing required nutritional value are sourced from outside Africa.

However, despite the government waiver on import duty and all levies on maize and animal feeds for 90 days to cushion farmers from the high-cost feeds, manufacturers say there has been a shortage of raw materials in both regional and international markets.

Acquiring maize for human consumption itself has been a problem as a 90kg bag of maize has doubled from last year’s price, now costing 5,500 to 6,000 shillings.

Kenyan feed manufacturers who rely on imported raw materials have had to pay steeper prices for imports as the shilling continues to weaken against the dollar.

The strengthening of the global trade currency has seen traders having to part with a quoted price of 119.99 shillings per dollar, a 10.4 percent increase from August 2021.

On May 30, The Kenya Association of Manufacturers expressed worries over a dollar shortage, which has seen businesses such as Pwani oil suspending operations.

According to the traders, the inflated cost of feeds can primarily be pegged to inflation in the cost of production. Raw materials such as maize remain high while overheads such as the cost of electricity are also steep.

Lesser factors like weather are also not aiding the situation. Egg production often dips over the cold June to August months while diseases in birds rise with falling temperatures.

Farmers are often forced to invest in heating sources or increase their flock’s feed intake to sustain optimal production. If they can help it, many poultry farmers, avoid rearing chicken over this period.

Related Content: Kenyans to Pay More for Eggs Over Shortage






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