Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Chicken meat import by big meat and pork brands threatens the future of the Poultry industry

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Over 2000 Broiler farmers in the country are set to close their farming business if the government of Kenya does not urgently put measures to curb meat import.

The farmers who gathered in Thika, Ngoigwa Sub-Location, which is the heart of broiler and egg farming in the country threatened to demonstrate if importations aren’t stopped.

Led by their Secretary General, Mr Zachary Munyambu, they argued that between December 2021 to date over 539,000 kilograms of chicken meat has entered Kenya through Uganda.

“These are a lot of Kilograms, which threatened to kill the poultry industry in the country,” said Munyambu.

Munyambu is the Secretary General for Kiambu Poultry Cooperative Society.

“Chicken producers have suffered under the suppressing effect of predatory trade for years, which has kept an inherently healthy and globally efficient industry from expanding and developing. Market share of our local producers was eroded by Uganda through local producers such as Finsbury,” he said.

“Our investigations confirm again that dumping is real and has inflicted material injury on this crucial local industry which plays such a key role in job creation and food security. Moreover, it has found that there is an indisputable link between dumping and the damage. “This decision signals a watershed moment for the poultry industry.”

Munyambu said the elimination of unfair trade would stimulate local production, which in turn would create more jobs and bring transformation and economic growth to the benefit of Kenya as a whole.

“In the coming year we look forward to a revision of all trade measures and an increase in growth to catch up to the industry’s real production capacity, and we are hopeful to this issue under control,” he said.

“As the second biggest agriculture sector, poultry’s growth will reverberate along a vast value chain that includes the grain industry, transport, pharmacology, packaging, retail and so much more,” he concluded.

Tanzania government does not allow Kenyan farmers to export meat into Tanzania while Uganda charges 25% tax on any chicken meat exported into Uganda from Kenya. On the other hand, traders from Uganda and Tanzania are allowed to import meat into Kenya tax free.

In 2021, the government banned the entry of chicken meat from Uganda, for a period of six months. This short term ban brought a lot of benefits to the local farmers, they were able to sell the chicken at a right price.

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