Kenya's poultry farmers are scaling down their layer flocks and even switching to broiler businesses instead due to increased egg production costs and low returns.
Chicken feed has seen price increases from Sh1,670 (US$17.22) per 70-kilogram bag in 2010 to the current Sh2,820 (US$29.07) per bag. Layer eggs are also being bought at a lower wholesale price and then turned over at a much higher retail price, making layers an even less profitable business when the rising costs are factored in, say farmers. A tray of eggs (30 eggs in a tray) going for Sh230 (US$2.37) wholesale is selling for Sh425 (US$4.38) retail, according to local producers.
Some producers have switched to broilers, saying they're cheaper to maintain. Currently, a six-week-old broiler is going for between Sh400 (US$4.12) and Sh450 (US$4.64), with numbers expected to increase during festive seasons.