A section of Migori farmers have urged the national government to move with speed to import duty-free yellow maize to ease the economic pressure on the high costs of animal feeds.
The Chairperson of the Migori Kenya National Federation of Farmers (KENAFF) Peter Chacha said that the importation of duty-free yellow maize and other animal feeds raw materials will ease the pain of the high cost of animal feeds that have skyrocketed for the last three years.
President William Ruto while addressing the UDA delegates at Bomas in September this year, announced that the government was planning to start importing duty-free yellow maize to ease the high cost of animal feeds in the country.
Chacha applauded the government for lifting taxes on animal feeds as well as extending duty waivers for manufacturers to import raw materials to ease the cost of animal meals in an effort to boost the country’s livestock sector.
According to the Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organisation (KALRO), the livestock industry contributes about 10 percent of the national Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and at least 50 percent of the agricultural GDP making the industry an integral part of the Kenyan economic drive.
He said that the high cost of living and the prevailing drought had pushed the majority of farmers to forfeit some of the agricultural activities in the country.
Chacha, however, said that lowering the fertiliser prices by the government has helped farmers to increase food production in Migori and the country at large.
Noela Oyoo, a pig farmer from Suna East Sub County, Migori encouraged the government to import duty-free maize to ease her pain on the high costs of animal feed.
“I used to buy a 90 kilogrammes bag of maize a few years ago at Ksh1, 800 but now the same sack is retaining at above Ksh 5,000,” Oyoo lamented.
Oyoo who has more than 500 pigs at her Stella farm said that it was becoming hard to sustain her pig farming due to the high costs of feeds.
She was, however, optimistic that if the government can be able to import the duty-free yellow maize, then the high cost of animal feeds can be addressed in order to improve the livestock sector and the small-scale businesses in the country.