Kenya’s poultry farmers are dismayed over the lack of the imposition of provisional anti-dumping duties on chicken from neighbouring countries during the budget reading in April 2022.
In a letter to the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, Zack Munyambu Chairman of the Kiambu Poultry Farmers’ Cooperative Society, explained that the government had failed to protect chicken players despite several pleas.
“Chicken producers have suffered under the suppressing effect of predatory trade for years, keeping an inherently healthy and globally efficient industry from expanding and developing,” he said on their behalf.
He said that the market share of local producers was eroded by the leftovers of the Uganda and EU industries, dumped in Kenya to elbow Kenyan products off retailers’ shelves.
The farmers expected that the just read budget would incorporate balanced taxation among the EAC countries.
Poultry meat imported into the country attracts zero taxes hence making it lucrative for the meat traders.
Additionally, the meat prices offered to the importers are ridiculously low that local farmers cannot compete, and even lower than prices in the country of origin hence raising concerns about dumping to kill Kenya’s Poultry industry.
Kenyan poultry farmers are charged 25% taxes by the countries or even allegedly denied import permits by neighbouring countries.
“Our findings 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,” he said.
“Moreover, it has been 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 bring avian flu under control,” he said.
He said that as the second biggest agriculture sector, poultry’s growth would reverberate along a vast value chain that includes the grain industry, transport, pharmacology, packaging, and retail industry.
More than 4,000 chicken farms in Kenya have been closed as a result of big farms importing chicken.
The companies which previously contracted local farmers have stopped doing so and opted to bring in meat from other countries.
According to the import data, the traders are importing an average of 500,000 kilograms of meat per month.
An average Kenyan farmer produces 250kgs of meat per month.
This means that in a month the import business is killing 2,000 poultry businesses, leaving them to languish in poverty while promoting other countries’ farmers.
Farmers want the state to suspend the import of chicken meat until Kenyan farmers have been empowered and feed prices brought back to normal.