Residents of Murang’a County have decried biting shortage of eggs, even as their prices continue to rise, amidst low supply of the commodity in the area.
According to the residents, the price of a tray of eggs is now retailing at Sh380 up from Sh300 translating into 25%, which could be attributed to the prolonged drought being experienced in some parts the country.
Poultry farmers interviewed by KNA complained over exorbitant prices of chicken feeds as a result of the prevailing drought as well as high inflation saying it was becoming increasingly difficult to feed their birds.
One of the farmers, Stella Wairimu, explained how she had to reduce the number of chicken she rears in order to manage the current situation.
“I used to keep over 300 birds and collect three to four trays of eggs a day, but after prices of chicken feeds skyrocketed, I had to reduce them to a manageable size,” Wairimu stated.
“Currently I collect only one tray per day but the demand for eggs is still high,” she added.
On his part, Michael Irungu Kamau, a dealer in animal feeds in Murang’a, is worried he might not restock some of the products as farmers are no longer purchasing them at all or buying in small quantities.
“A 70 kg bag of Kienyeji feed that was going for Sh1700 is currently retailing at Sh2100, while a 50 kg starter bag for newly hatched chicks was Sh3800 but is now retailing at Sh.4100,” said Irungu, adding that he fears the prices will keep going higher.
Residents are now being forced to dig deeper into their pockets as the cost of an egg has increased from Sh10 to Sh15, while street vendors are selling boiled eggs at Sh25 instead of the initial Sh20.
Elsewhere, Chantel Wambui, a resident in Mukuyu, wants the government to intervene and avoid a situation where the government is likely to be compelled to allow for importation of eggs to cover the deficit, thus impoverishing poultry farmers even further.
“Our leaders should handle this issue with the urgency it deserves, before it gets out of hand because unlike other commodities you can hardly substitute an egg,” added Wambui.
By Purity Mugo and Joseph Kiguta