KEBS concerned by quality of dairy feeds in the market


KEBS concerned by quality of dairy feeds in the market
MR. CHARLES KAMAU [KENYA MARKETS TRUST CEO],JULIUS NYAGAGA [KENYA MARKETS TRUST ],MR.CHARLES ONGWAE [MD KENYA BUREAU OF STANDARDS

Dairy feeds suppliers and manufactures have been put on the spot over failure to certify inputs used in their production.

According to the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS), only 45 percent of animal feeds suppliers in Kenya are registered with the standards body while 43 percent of the manufacturers do not certify their products.

KEBS Managing Director Charles Ongwae said this had serious effect on the quality of dairy produced across the country, adding that this is also impacting yields from cows.

“The inputs that they use have issues, the products they have out there have issues, and that is the reason why you will find the big farmers produce their own animal feeds,” Mr Ongwae said.

This has seen large scale dairy farmers incur higher running costs to be able to meet quality feed standards.

“Sometimes it’s not about reducing costs, sometimes it’s about ensuring that they produce feeds which help them meet their objectives,” he added.

The findings are part of a study conducted by the Kenya Markets Trust which was seeking to find solutions to sustainable milk production across the country.

Kenya’s dairy sector has in recent years shown a steady growth and currently contributes 40 percent of the agricultural sector’s output.

Despite this growth, farmers do continue producing below optimum with average ranging between five to 8 liters per cow daily.

Kenya Markets Trust chief executive officer Kamau Kuria said the challenge has been the low production of dairy feeds by manufactures, with most relying on imported raw materials.

“The Kenyan dairy farmer is way behind the Israeli dairy farmer who is producing 27 liters of milk per day or 20 liters per day in the United Kingdom. Kenya’s low productivity is due challenges such as poor herd management and feeding on low quality forages among others,” Mr Kuria said.

KEBS has called for enhanced testing of dairy and animal feeds across the country in an effort of enhancing compliance while working towards boosting dairy production.

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