Uganda is now a new haven of eggs for Kenyan traders who have battled increased production costs, pushing them to cross the borders to buy cheaper eggs from Uganda for consumption and re-sale in Kenya. The cost of poultry feeds hit the roof forcing many farmers interested in the egg business to go hunting for cheaper eggs.
In Kenya, layers mash goes for Ksh3,150 for a 70-kilogramme bag, an equivalent of Shs91,350 in Uganda, Kieveji mash retails at Ksh1,800 per 70 kilogramme, Sh52,200 in Uganda and chicken mash goes for KSh3,300 for the same capacity.
Maize husks are sold at Sh1,500 per 50-kilogramme sack, an equivalent of Shs43,500 in Uganda and remains from dagaa fish (omena) available at averagely KSh50 per kilogramme, Shs1450 in Uganda.
In Uganda, besides remains of omena and maize which are available in plenty, the cost of chicken feeds is lower than in Kenya. “Our government has also subsidiesed the cost of pioultry drugs and vaccine to encourage more small-scale farmers to engage in poultry production,” said Mr John Mugisha,a trader in Uganda who has been in the eggs business for the last six years.
Mr Mugisha says unlike in Kenya, ugali (maize meal )is not a staple food in Uganda and that is why most of the grain that feeds families across the border comes from the neighbouring country, matooke (mashed bananas) is Ugandans staple food.
“Remains from maize and cassavas are easily available due to high production of the two crops compared to Kenya. This is used to feed chicks. This means one can make feeds at the farm level and does not necessarily need to go for the processed product,” he says.
He adds that the cotton seed cake, sunflower and ground nut cake and waste from rice and omena are nutritious poultry feeds. A Kenyan trader who sells a tray of eggs at between Sh280 and Sh300 will lose buyers who purchase a similar quantity at between Sh190 and Sh220 from Uganda,” says Mr Mugisha.