Broiler farmers in the country are counting losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Most farmers have reduced their birds because they don’t have a market. Their biggest market is City Market, where many fast food joints and restaurants in Nairobi get their chicken from.
(A farmer speaking)
Since the curfew and lockdown, these farmers have had to even reduce their workforce, because they don’t have a market to sell their products.
The farmers are blaming they are attributing their woes to the government that has allowed the dumping of chicken products from Uganda. Chicken is coming from Uganda at a low cost, which is 700 kilometers from Nairobi, whereas there is plenty of farmers with a 70kilometers radius.
In his National address a fortnight ago, President Uhuru Kenyatta urged farmers to continue with their agricultural activities at this period of COVID-19 pandemic. “Similarly, I encourage our traders and farmers in fresh produce to continue with their agricultural activities, so as to ensure the continued supply of the farm produce to our markets. Such farm products embody the diversity of Kenya includes; Rice, Beans, Maize, Potatoes, Cabbages, Miraa, Tomatoes, bananas, and other food items,” said President Kenyatta.
To reinforce the President’s sentiment, Kenya Poultry Breeders Association in a press statement said, “We foresee a massive shortage of chicken and egg supply in the next coming months due to decline in day-old chicks placement over the past three weeks. Therefore, we are encouraging our farmers not to stop growing chicken because there is a bigger opportunity coming soon. The government has laid down measures to ensure poultry farming will not be interrupted including feed supply and chicken distribution.”
For them to continue farming, they are urging the government to give maize farmers rebates, zero rate farming equipment related to poultry farming value chain, for them to compete with Ugandan if not then the government to close the borders temporarily.