The county government will set up a Sh30 million animal feeds factory to protect farmers from unscrupulous traders who sell them fake products.
The factory will be built at Kamweti Farmers Training Centre. Some Farmers have complained that they have either lost their entire flock or disposed the animals at a loss after feeding them poor quality feeds.
The farmers said most of the feeds sold in the county were from unknown sources.
Njihia Wambugu said he pumped in Sh200,000 into poultry farming last year only to end up disposing all the birds after he unknowingly fed them substandard feeds.
A veterinary doctor told farmers that his chicken had been fed on maize bran mixed with indigestible substances such as sand which left his poultry house at Murinduko village empty.
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During an agricultural exhibition at Karia Market, Governor Joseph Ndathi said the factory will be manufacturing feeds for livestock, fish and poultry.
“Since dairy farming, poultry keeping and fish rearing are the commonest in this county we want to set up a factory which will manufacture quality feeds and also set standards which traders in the commodity will have to comply with,” he said.
He said any trader selling products and does not meet the set standards will be banned from doing business in the county.
Mr Ndathi said as a result of the substandard feeds, milk production and fish stocks have been declining.
Kenya Bureau of Standards and Agriculture ministry officials estimate that over 80 per cent of the feeds in the market are contaminated with substances like sand, ash and sawdust.
“Adulterated feeds can kill poultry and animals,” said Sabriano Bauni of Kenya Agricultural Livestock Research Organisation.
“If they don’t cause death, they stunt the poultry’s growth, leading to low productivity and increase in disease burden, which more than double farm expenses,” he said.
Dr Bauni said feeds adulteration is widespread, but it is more pronounced in areas that have a high concentration of poultry such as Kiambu, Kirinyaga and Murang’a.
“The problem is made worse by the fact that most feed manufacturers, especially small-scale ones, lack basic training in animal nutrition and feed milling technology,” Bauni said.