The exemption window is one year and is meant to protect farmers from the high cost of animal feed that has been triggered by drought in various parts of the country and which was declared a national disaster by President Uhuru Kenyatta.
According to reports by The Star, Zambia, a key source of animal feed imports to Kenya, has banned the exports of soya and sunflower, which are the major raw materials used in feed production.
Under the East African Customs Management Act 2004, relief goods used in emergency situations are exempted from import duty. The licensed millers have been given the green light from 1 November 2021 to 31 October 2022 to import raw materials used in the manufacture of animal and chicken feeds duty-free.
They will be allowed to import 225,950 mt of yellow maize, 126,300 mt of soya bean meal, and 58,250 mt of soya bean for use in the manufacture of animal feed. Additionally, they will import 20,500 mt of cotton seed cake, 83,300 of sunflower seed cake, 34,000 mt of white sorghum, and 28,750 mt of fish meal, reports KBC.
The companies selected include Belfast Millers Limited, Unga Farm Care (EA) Limited, Pembe Flour Mill Limited, Mombasa Maize Millers Limited, Economy Farm Feeds Product (K) Limited, Isinya Feeds Limited and Bidco Africa Limited. Others are Treasure Feeds Limited, Sigma Feeds Limited, Rift Valley Products Limited, Organic Proteins Limited, Muringa Limited, Maisha Flour Mills Limited and Kitale Industries Limited.
The millers are however barred from importing genetically modified raw materials as allowed under the schedule. The yellow maize is further required to have moisture content not more than 135% with aflatoxin levels that shall not exceed ten parts per billion (ppb) as specified by the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS).
The imports are also required to have certificate of conformity issued by KEBS and be used exclusively for the manufacture of animal and chicken feed.
Livestock farmers have raised alarm over the increasing feed prices which according to Githunguri Dairy Famers Co-operative Society Chairman George Kinuthia, had jumped from US$4.4 for a 50kg bag of animal feeds to US$10 within a year, a factor that has continued to curb farmer earnings and cause shortage of food.