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Outcry over egg market glut as farmers call for ban on egg imports

Poultry farmers in Kiambu County have called on the government to ban the importation of eggs to save their poultry farming ventures from collapsing.
They said egg market glut has resulted in losses in their ventures, literally pushing them out of the market.
Under the Kiambu Poultry Farmers’ Cooperative Society umbrella, they said due to cheap imported eggs, they are now selling an egg at Sh. 8, against a cost of production of Sh. 9, making it uneconomical.
They attributed the scenario to massive importation of cheap eggs by cartels and brokers from Uganda, South Africa and China which flooded the market.
Led by their chairman Anne Wanjiku, they said poultry farming had stabilized some few years ago thanks to government restrictions, but suspected that the restrictions had been relaxed.

A Thika poultry farmer in her Gatuanyaga farm. Poultry farmers in Kiambu have complained of an egg market glut, making their venture non-profitable.

They said to save farmers, the government should create an enabling environment for investment to thrive and ban cheap imports.
The Society’s Coordinator Zachary Munyambu said the cost of feeds, taxation and drugs to prevent diseases and pests is high.
“The business was thriving a few months ago, but it is no longer lucrative. The cost of production is high compared to profit margins because the egg market is flooded with cheap imports. The government should tighten restrictions against these imports,” said Munyambu.
The society was founded a year ago by a group of 700 Kiambu county poultry farmers to reduce cost of production through manufacturing their own poultry feeds.
Thika MP Patrick Wainaina who has tabled a Safeguard Bill to cushion local investors and manufacturers from cheap imports called on the government to put heavy taxes on imports to reduce their flow in the country.
Speaking to farmers in Thika town on Saturday, the MP said the flooded eggs markets were hurting local poultry farmers and should be banned.
He regretted that the country’s cost of production is higher than that of the neighbouring countries, disadvantaging local investors.
He called for reduction of tax on feeds and drugs to lower cost of production, adding that the country should not allow imports of products that are manufactured locally to protect local investors.
“Investors and other groups that are involved in the food security and manufacturing big four agenda should be protected from cartels, brokers and cheap imports. That way you will support and empower local production and create jobs,” said the MP.

By Muoki Charles

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