The price of Animal Feed Is skyrocketing, What Should Farmers Do?

By UKF Team

Due to the high price of animal feeds, most Kenyan farmers who raise animals are having trouble keeping up with the production. In the case of commercial animal husbandry, the cost of feeding your animals accounts for around 70% of your total production expenses. Due to increasing expenses for raw materials, high fuel prices, and higher taxes, feeding pigs, poultry, cattle, and fish is becoming more and more costly.

As a result, animal farmers could be forced to raise the prices of meat, milk, eggs, and pork to make a profit. But will their farming business still be successful if they pass the increased cost onto consumers? Consumers have been compelled to make fewer purchases of milk, beef, pork, and fish due to rising prices. In Kenya and many other African nations, animal products are still considered minor luxuries, and the majority of people will avoid them when times are difficult. Even if they raise the prices of their agricultural products, reduced customer purchases will still result in lower profits.

What Drives Up the Cost of Animal Feeds?

Maize, which makes up 60% of animal feeds, soybeans, which make up 30% of animal feeds, and other mixtures like sunflower cake, cotton seed cakes, fish meal, brans, plus minerals and vitamins, are among the basic ingredients used to manufacture animal feeds.

For instance, maize is abundantly available in Kenya. In most regions of the nation with good rainfall and fertile soil, it is widely grown. However, because of high fertilizer prices, yields have decreased and prices have risen as a result. Since maize is a staple crop in Kenya, the majority of the nation’s production is for human consumption, leaving the companies producing animal feeds with little maize for production.

Kenya only produces less than 5% annually of the soya beans required for livestock feed and human consumption. This is because most farmers are unaware of how crucial soybeans are for helping to fatten livestock. Even though soya beans only account for 30% of animal diets, they nonetheless offer animals high-quality protein. For the animals, it offers such a rich and dynamic amino acid profile. Due to Kenya’s limited soybean output, neighbouring countries like Zambia, Tanzania, and Uganda supply the majority of Kenya’s imports. Because of strong demand in their own countries and declining production over time, nations like Zambia and Tanzania have likewise cut back on shipments to Kenya.

The nation also has ample quantities of other raw materials including cotton seed cakes and fish meal. To close the gap, imports must be made. Kenya heavily depends on imports for its animal feed basic ingredients, therefore prices are soaring and both farmers and consumers are feeling the pinch.

What is the Best Solution?

Farming these raw materials is the long-term solution for decreasing animal feed in Kenya. Kenya offers excellent climatic conditions for growing soya beans, cotton, and sunflowers in addition to maize. These crops are also used as raw materials in the manufacturing of cooking oil and fabric. We will undoubtedly overcome the high cost of animal feeds by lowering imports and expanding production.

Farmers can also take matters into their own hands and start farming their raw materials. In western Kenya, Soya beans and sunflowers can grow very well. Over-dependence on growing maize alone only for human consumption should be balanced with growing these crops that are excellent for animal feeds, and also raw materials for many other industries. Join the revolution today.

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