Enactment of Animal Feedstuff Bill 2016 - Association of Kenya Feeds Manufacturers (AKEFEMA)

In livestock farming, the animal feeds affect the quality of produce due to their nutritional quotients. Dairy farming, poultry farming and pig farming are dependent on animal feeds whether wholly or in part.

A study commissioned by Kenya Market Trust in August 2016 found that the Kenyan livestock feed industry has grown rapidly over the years with many feed operators striving to provide quality products, either due regulatory requirements or as a competitive strategy.

However, with the increased number of food producers, there is uncertainty about the quality of ingredient supplied and quality assurance standard applied. Therefore, there is a possibility that a large amount of feedstuff whose nutritional content and quality cannot be ascertained or guaranteed is being supplied to livestock farmers.

According to AKEFEMA, there are an estimated 150 formal feed manufacturers in Kenya, 92 of whom are members of the association. The formal manufacturers have to comply with KEBS Standards and other laws. Weaknesses in the regulation of the sector have resulted in an industry with a large number of informal unregulated feed manufacturers (KEBS suggests that there are 250 feed manufacturers of which 150 are formal). AKEFEMA argues that the number is higher with many animal feed dealers in rural Kenya selling their own mixes of unmarked feeds.

The animal feeds industry is regulated by several laws including: The Environmental Management and Coordination Act (EMCA-1999); the Seed and Plant Varieties Act (Cap 326); the Fertilizer and Animal Foodstuffs Act (Cap 345); and the Standards Act (Cap 496) which provides for a mandatory Standardization Mark for locally manufactured and imported products. The Standards Act gave rise to the KEBS Feed Standards which include: KEBS Code of Practice for animal feed production, processing and storage; KEBS Specifications for: Poultry, dairy cattle, pig, dog and ostrich feed; KEBS Specifications for salt and mineral supplements; KEBS Specifications for meat and bone meal; KEBS Specifications for meat meal.

SNV Kenya carried out an Animal Feed and Fodder study in the context of the Kenya Market-led Dairy Program (KMDP) which led to reporting on Kenya feed industry policy and regulatory issues.

AKEFEMA’s position

Regulatory roles of each of the regulatory agencies as provided for by the above laws are either in conflict, not specific or leave gaps in comprehensive regulation of the sector.

The Fertilizer and Animal Foodstuffs Act has been amended on several occasions but is yet to address all the issues in the sector. There still is a policy contradiction of attempting to regulate both fertilizers and animal feed in the same legal framework. The enforcement powers have not been properly defined and assigned to the regulatory agencies creating gaps that have led to an unequal playing field for livestock feed manufacturers.

In 2014 AKEFEMA  developed an Animal Feedstuff Bill, a project which was finalised in March 2016. This proposed Bill addresses all the industry concerns and sensitivities of the different government agencies involved in the sector’s regulation. 

AKEFEMA is seeking to have the Bill in the National Assembly as a Private Member’s Bill and to advocate its approval.

The enactment and implementation of a suitable Animal Feedstuffs Act will:

  • Create a level playing field for all players within the feeds sector leading to profitable feed businesses in Kenya through better-defined enforcement roles.
  • Improve the business environment for all livestock stakeholders, guaranteeing quality feeds to farmers and a return on investment to feed manufacturers.
  • Grow the sector as more formal businesses compete on a level playing field leading to increased employment.
  • Produce legislation that has been shown to arise from a stakeholder participation process, therefore, its enforcement will be supported and driven by all stakeholders.

This Bill, if enacted, will encourage Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) that will lead to use of raw materials and production processes that will improve the quality of animal feedstuffs on the market, thereby improving animal health as well as yields which in turn improve the competitiveness of the livestock sector as a green growth industry.