KENYA – Kenya seeks to raise KES 460 billion (US$3.2B) for the implementation of the new national strategy for the animal feed industry over the next 10 years, according to Stanley Mutua, head of animal feed and nutrition services at the Ministry of Agriculture.
According to the official, this roadmap aims in particular to address shortages of water and animal feed, improve the quality-price ratio of products and strengthen policies as well as data and information systems on feeds.
Ecofin Agency reports that Mutua revealed this on July 25 during a consultative meeting with the ministry.
The announcement comes after the recent collaboration by Bill and Melinda Gates with the African Union InterAfrican Bureau (AU-IBAR) for Animal Resources to develop evidence-driven solutions to address the adverse effects of crises on African feed and fodder systems.
According to the Ministry, livestock farming contributes 40% to the agricultural GDP. However, the country has been confronted for 5 years with an episode of prolonged drought which affects agricultural production as well as the local production of animal feed.
As a result, the official data indicate that the Kenyan livestock sector is currently experiencing an annual production deficit of 33 million tonnes of animal feed in a context marked by a prolonged drought coupled with costly imports as the shilling depreciates to historically low.
According to animal feed experts, feed and fodder shortages have forced farmers in Kenya and the Greater Horn of Africa to feed their livestock with low-quality feeds, resulting in reduced animal productivity.
Additionally, climate change’s unpredictable weather patterns have also affected farmers who prefer to grow maize, leading to crop failures and a subsequent decline in feed quality and quantity.
To fill this gap, the executive is planning, as part of its new strategy, to increase collaborations with development partners to increase investments in five key value chains, namely pastures, sorghum, sunflower, cotton, and corn.
Christopher Wanga, director of livestock policy research and regulation at the Ministry of Agriculture revealed that 2.5 million head of cattle have died in the past two years due to drought and subsequent famine as farmers lacked timely access to quality animal feed and at a reasonable cost.
The officials, therefore, have committed to devising raft measures to rescue the situation, particularly in the poultry sector, which has the largest number in the livestock sector with more than 59 million heads, followed by goats, sheep, cattle, and camels, which complete the top 5 of the national livestock, based on Statista data from 2020.