Lobby wants importation of poultry products suspended

A local lobby has demanded that the government suspends importation of processed poultry products from East African Community (EAC) countries.

In a letter to the Department of Veterinary Services, Federation of Kenya Poultry Farmers cited an oversupply of chicken products.

The lobby has requested that importation of poultry meat and other poultry products be suspended on the weight of oversupply of broilers into the local market.

“Local production has surpassed market demand since May 2020 due to the call by President Uhuru Kenyatta for farmers to increase production during Covid-19,” the federation's letter read.

In April, President Kenyatta urged farmers to increase production so that Kenyans do not go hungry during Covid-19 pandemic.

Yesterday, Monica Wanjiru, the Federation of Poultry Farmers president, said Kenya has a surplus of 253 days in chicken inventory. This means that despite the Covid-19 pandemic, the projected supply for poultry products will last at least until the second half of 2021.

“The Covid-19 crisis has aggravated the situation with the closure of hotels, restaurants and other institutional buyers meaning that local chicken products have not been sold,” Wanjiru said.

As of May 20, the inventory for frozen chicken stood at 71.9 million kgs, according to data from Kenya Poultry and Breeders Association (KPBA). The numbers have been derived from cold storage facilities accredited by KPBA.

“To preserve the remaining production potential for 2020, the importation of poultry meat and poultry products must cease as soon as possible so that the industry can hold on until times are less volatile,” the lobby said.

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