Animal feed manufacturers in Kenya are shuting down all over the country and many others are operating at half capacity and struggling to cover their costs, according to the Association of Kenya Feed Manufacturers (Afefema).
Due to a shortage of grain, by-products and oil cakes and price of animal feed has on average, gone up by 50-94% since October 2010. The result being an increase in the cost of animal feeds to a point where most farmers are not able to sustain their livestock.
Akefema has on several occasions alerted the government to the critical consequences facing the livestock industry if no action is taken.
Farmers are currently managing their animals at a loss and as a result many have already started to reduce numbers, especially in poultry.
This is because animal feed accounts for 60-80% of the total cost of livestock production.
There has been a big outcry from the farmers due to the increasing cost and shortage of animal feeds.
Akefema feels that there are some urgent issues in the livestock industry that need immediate government attention to ensure continued viability.
The current shortage of raw materials threatens livestock production and hence farmers livelihood and the people who depend directly and indirectly on the industry.