East African imports are displacing Kenya’s poultry production, Humphrey Mbugua, patron of the Kenya Poultry Breeders Association, told journalists on Wednesday.
Local production is unable to compete with duty-free imports of poultry products from Uganda and Tanzania, he said in Nairobi.
“The East African Community (EAC) protocol allows free trade among member states but the government should step in and control imports of agricultural produce that Kenya farmers rely on,” Mbugua said.
The most affected products are eggs, milk as well as day-old chicks, he said.
“Our neighbors are able to produce poultry products at a 20 percent lower cost as compared to Kenyan farmers,” Mbugua said.
Kenya was a major supplier of dairy and poultry products to the trading bloc in the past decade but has now emerged as a key importer.
“Kenyan farmers are facing higher costs of inputs for major agricultural products,” Mbugua said. “This has made production and exportation a major challenge.”
Kenya’s commercial poultry hatcheries, which used to produce on average of 1 million day-old chicks per week, have been “forced to scale down our production because we are importing about 100,000 day-old chicks per week from our neighbors.” Enditem