By Claire Wanja
The Kenya Bureau of Standards has directed animal feed importers and dealers to adhere to the laid out guidelines in KS 2543: 2014 Code of Practice within their manufacturing process.
All products are also expected to be certified by KEBS.
To be certified the firms must have a certificate of incorporation by registrar of companies, be licensed premises by the regulatory authorities’ e.g. Public health, County Government, NEMA, Ministry of labour and demonstrate capacity to manufacture animal feeds which will include; equipment e.g. mixers, mills, balances (calibrated), qualified technical personnel in animal feeds formulation and quality control and in-house laboratory facilities to test raw materials and finished products for moisture and aflatoxin.
Other rules they must adhere to is to comply with the KEBS scheme of supervision and control for animal feeds, be in possession of the code of practice for animal feeds industry and other relevant approved standards, demonstrate compliance to the Standardization Mark certification scheme, maintain records of certificate of analysis of raw materials as per approved labs from country of origin, maintain records of finished products and demonstrate unique identification for traceability of products in the market.
Speaking to players in the sector, KEBS Managing Director, Charles Ongwae said an Act of Parliament to regulate the importation, manufacture and sale of animal foodstuffs and substances of animal origin intended for the manufacture of such products came into operation last year and players should adhere to it.
According to statistics from the Association of Kenya Feed Manufacturers (AKEFEMA), there are over 150 millers who produce about 500,000 metric tons of commercial feedstuff annually which translates to 41,666 metric tonnes per month.
However, in the recent past, there have been concerns about the quality and safety of the animal feeds in the market. According to Ongwae, the concerns need to be addressed from both the current regulatory framework and the industry by enhancing quality assurance system in feed production from purchase of raw materials, production, dispatch and performance at the farm level.
According to Ongwae, with the advent of the mandatory product certification scheme, there has been a steady increase of animal feed firms that have placed their request to be certified by KEBS.
“Just before the launch of the scheme, there were less than 100 firms registered with KEBS, to date, there are over 260 firms registered with us. This indicates a remarkable increase and growth within the industry,” said the KEBS MD.
Kenya imports over 70 percent of the raw materials (oil cakes) needed for manufacturing animal feed, the bulk of which consists of cotton seed cake and sunflower cake. Other raw materials which are also imported to supplement local supply include, maize by products like maize germ, maize bran, wheat pollard, fish meal and sardine (omena), these raw materials mainly come from Uganda and Tanzania.
Since the raw materials are purchased based on net weight rather than the nutrient content, unethical practices by raw material suppliers have been reported in the market. The manufacturers, claim most malpractices include adulterating the raw materials by adding sand in order to increase the net weight to accrue more profits.
KEBS has developed various standards and code of practice which all manufacturers must adhere to.