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Luwero farmers abandon chicken over high costs of feeds

Luwero, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Poultry farmers in Luwero have sold off part of their chicken and others have quit business over the high costs of the feeds.

In Luwero town, the price of broken maize is now at sh1,800-2,000 from sh1,200 whereas maize bran is at sh900 from 400 shillings per kilogram. The two are the major feeding rations for chicken daily.

The increase in prices of feed is blamed on the severe drought and hiked fuel prices.

Emmanuel Mulekezi, the Director of Luwero Super Farm Limited located in Luwero town has been looking after 4000 chickens and feeding them 200 kilograms of broken maize as well as 100 kilograms of maize bran per day.

Mulekezi however said due to the increase in prices of feed, he decided to sell off 2000 chickens to cut down on the costs.

Jackson Sseremba, the Director of Cheri Estates in Luwero town rears 627 chickens and feeds them on 78 kilograms of mixed feed per day.   Sseremba says that he has resorted to adjusting the menu and partly feeding the chicken on rice bran which is cheaper compared to maize bran.

Sseremba adds that due to adjustments, the egg production has dropped from 18 trays to 14 per day as they struggle to look after the chicken.

Due to a reduction in egg production, the cost of a tray of eggs at the farm has now increased from 8,000 to 11,000 Shillings.

Moses Kalanzi the Director of Mumwesige Poultry Farm at PIIDA Zone in Luwero town looks after 20,000 chickens and each day spends up to 2.3 million Shillings from 1.4 million Shillings on feeds.

Kalanzi has been a poultry farmer for the last 30 years but says he has never struggled to look after the chicken.

“I have now resolved to draw money from other enterprises and inject in buying feeds for the chicken. Several other poultry farmers have closed but I am still struggling to maintain the farm because I invested so much in its infrastructure” Kalanzi said.

Wilberforce Ssemigga the Luwero District Agriculture Officer says he has got several reports about poultry farmers who have sold all the chicken and quit the business after failing to raise money to look after them.

Ssemigga says that the district faces over 50 percent of maize crop failure over drought and the prices may not fall till next season.

Ssemigga has advised poultry farmers to downsize and maintain less chicken than they can afford till the next crop season.

According to the Parish Development Model household survey, at least 76 out of 101 parishes grow maize in Luwero. However, the majority of the maize grown this season has dried before harvest.

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