Nairobi, Kenya -- High cost of feeds, rising market taxation rates by local authorities and influx of brokers are conspiring to kill the poultry sector.
The situation has not been helped either by prevailing shortage of chicks as well as high cost of incubators.
Escalating fuel prices have also had a negative impact since farmers are spending more on chick warming and hatchery.
Kenya Poultry Farmers Association (Kepofa) meeting said their fortunes were fast waning.
"Besides high cost of production, lack of sound technological advancement with time has seen that farmers have to place an order with chick suppliers and wait for six months to get deliveries," said chairperson Ms Wairimu Kariuki.
Currently, over 21 million people rely on poultry farming for their livelihood. It contributes 2.1 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP) generated from livestock industry.
They urged the government to speed up enactment of the Poultry Farming Policy that will target maximisation of productivity and also establish a fully fledged department to coordinate the sector.
They said the policy that is currently at the Attorney General's office was best suited to arrest the current poor state of this sector since it will provide structures that will fight the ever escalating cost of inputs and unavailability of breeding stock.
"The cost of rearing 10 chicken has risen from Sh800 in 2007 to the current Sh2,500. Local authorities are imposing stiff taxes that account for 30 per cent of total value delivered to markets," said Mrs Agnes Murugi, a farmer.
Ms Lydiah Wanjiru a Nairobi based incubator dealer said they are forced to source from South Africa at exorbitant prices hence transferring the cost to the end user.