Dutch firm De Heus Animal Nutrition has broken ground for the construction of a USD23 million (about Sh3 billion) animal feeds plant at Athi River in Machakos County, Kenya.

The Netherlands-based multinational animal feed supplier with a feeds production capacity of 200,000 metric tonnes yearly is set to start operations in mid 2025 to support the dairy, poultry and swine sectors.

De Heus Animal Nutrition BV CEO Koen de Heus says the plant will supply farmers with quality animal feeds to enable healthy growth of Kenyan meat, eggs and milk production.

De Heus revealed that the Dutch company will work closely with farmers across Kenya to share knowledge and challenges and in the process boost their production and profitability.

“Similarly, working through close partnerships and personalized on-the-farm support, we will endeavour to deliver a seamless tailored solution to farmers every time,” he stated.

Agriculture and Livestock Development PS Jonathan Mueke expressed the government’s pledge to investing more towards the development of relevant infrastructure and policies.

“I call on other investors to take advantage of the prevailing policy environment in the country to plug the products deficits. The national government remains committed to meet its target to grow the manufacturing sector from 7 per cent of GDP to 30 per cent by 2030,” said Mueke.

De Heus now joins the existing 305 registered feed manufacturers in Kenya, including 10 commercial feed mills and more than 100 exclusive animal feed manufacturing companies.

Machakos Governor Wavinya Ndeti pledged the county’s full support for the animal feeds and fodder plant to attract more foreign investments to spur the job creation for residents.

“Our commitment to investors, both big and small, is that our doors are open. We shall support your businesses for the mutual benefit of the county and the people of Machakos,” promised Ndeti.

According to available data, Kenyans consume an average of about 1.26kg per capita of broiler chicken, and consume an average of 36 eggs, or 2.6kg per capita, each year.

This significant consumption rate has driven up the annual demand for broiler and layer feeds for the 43.2 million to 49.7 million poultry population across Kenya respectively.

Similarly, the per capita consumption of dairy milk currently stands at 110kg, while that of pork remains about 0.41kg and that of fish at 4kg per year, pushing up the feeds demand.