KENYA – The Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) has raised critical concerns about the widespread prevalence of non-compliant animal feeds in Kenya.

Vincent Cheruiyot, KEB’s North Rift Regional Manager revealed an alarming finding on analyzed samples on animal feeds brands that showed that over 50 percent lacked proper formulation among other issues.

According to the findings, out of 17 analyzed brands of poultry and dairy feeds, only one fully met the established quality standards.

“From the tests, we found there is a lack of critical ingredients, especially the protein source and minerals needed by livestock farmers. This is a continuous monitoring exercise and we are engaging them to put in place corrective measures to ensure that they have met the market requirements,” stated Mr Cheruiyot.

Cheruiyot noted that the results signify a rampant issue of substandard feed formulations potentially jeopardizing livestock health and productivity.

The reliance on imported raw materials further amplifies concerns, with Kenya heavily dependent on Tanzania for critical protein sources like cottonseed cake, sunflower, and omena-sardine fish. This external dependence raises questions about quality control and potential supply chain vulnerabilities.

Recognizing the urgency of this matter, KEBS has urged farmers to foster local raw material production, by encouraging and supporting increased domestic production of these essential ingredients.

Due to high cost, some manufacturers don’t uniformly mix the ingredients for the farmers leading to quality issues,” said the regional boss, noting that some of the small and medium-sized firms, feeds made at farm level and sold in agrovets were some of those which have flouted the standards.

Mr Cheruiyot said that the regulator is engaging with various counties and other stakeholders to encourage farmers to ensure the availability of the raw materials to be used in the manufacture of livestock feeds.

“We are seeking collaborations with the counties to encourage farmers to invest in the cultivation of these crops to help lower the cost of these ingredients in feed manufacture. This also addresses some of these challenges,” he added.

Kenya may not extend import duty waiver on animal feed raw materials

Meanwhile, the government of Kenya may not renew or extend the window for exemption from import duty on raw materials for the manufacturer of animal feeds, according to Jonathan Mueke, the Principal Secretary for livestock.

The PS was responding to the request made by the Association of Kenya Feed Manufacturers, on January 30, urging the government to extend duty waiver on raw materials to cushion dairy and poultry farmers against high prices of feed.

On August 11, 2023, the government allowed for an extension of duty waiver until February 2024 through a gazette notice.

The gazette notice indicated that exemption from import duty on raw materials for manufacture of animal feeds is notified for the general information of the public.

The duty waiver allowed for importation of 500,000 tonnes of yellow maize,150,000 tonnes of soya beans, 30,000 tonnes of feed additives, 10,000 tonnes of assorted protein concentrates and 37,500 tonnes of premix ingredients.

The move aimed to bring down the price of a 50kg bag of dairy meal from KES5,800 (US$38) to about KES4,970 (US$32).

However, speaking to the Star, PS Jonathan Mueke said that the government may not extend the import window because the country has experienced a bumper harvest for the 2023 long rains season maize crop.

He, however, assured that his team is monitoring the situation and will advise accordingly once the duty exemption window comes to an end this month.

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