The high cost of chicken feeds in Ankole is taking a huge toll on the income of poultry farmers. According to the poultry farmers, the cheapest chicken feeds has now gone up from Shillings 300 kilogram to Shillings 800.
Some of the chicken feed now costs as high as Shillings 1400 a kilogram depending on the ingredients. Sylvia Turinawe, a poultry farmer from Kakiika division in Mbarara Municipality, says the high cost of the feeds is not commensurate with the final price of chicken and eggs on the market.
Robert Kabatereine, the Chairperson Mbarara Network of Farmer’s Voice Limited, says the high prices of chicken feeds has hit the farmers hard. He says there is need for government to support the multiplication of Kuroiler chicken, which are free range birds and can easily adapt to local foods and vegetables.
Jackson Mugisha, a chicken feed dealer, says they are equally concerned because farmers tend to buy less when the prices go high. He says ingredients such as silver fish that are mixed in the feeds make them expensive.
Amon Mutabarura, the Ntungamo District Commercial Officer, says poultry requires a lot of innovation from the side of the farmers to deal with the challenge of chicken feeds. He advises farmers not to restrict themselves to manufactured feeds but also supplement them with plantain.
Mutabarura explains that chicken especially layers produce better eggs when they are fed on vegetables and other plantain. Colonel Joram Bushaija is the Coordinator for Operation Wealth Creation Program for Ankole region.
He says that the challenge of chicken feeds has been a concern for a very long time. He says that they have been lobbying for Kuroiler chicken as demanded by the farmers since it can easily scavenge for food.