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Revamped Kenya Meat Commission targets export market

NEWS
By Graham Kajilwa | May 25th 2021
President Uhuru Kenyatta makes an extensive inspection tour of the refurbished Kenya Meat Commission factory and business complex in Athi River, Machakos County on May 24, 2021. [PSCU, Standard]

President Uhuru Kenyatta has directed the Kenya Meat Commission (KMC) to partner with relevant State agencies to standardise their products for the export market.

The president, who was speaking during the official re-opening of KMC in Athi River, Machakos County yesterday, said he was optimistic of the meat products reaching the European market.

“We have done it before when Kenyan meat and meat products were sold worldwide and I believe once again meat products should join the growing list of food items that we export to the rest of the world,” he said.

The Head of State said he expects the country’s beef exports to also hit the Middle East as well as emerging markets, where the population is growing and consumers have more purchasing power.

“The Africa continental free trade arrangement coming into force provides an opportunity that should benefit the livestock sector by harnessing the entire supply chain in the meat industry,” he said.

The Head of State said the livestock sector’s potential extends to hides and skin, which informed his administration’s push to breathe life into the tannery industry.

The president, while lauding the positive changes at the commission since its transfer to the Ministry of Defence, said time was ripe for KMC to reclaim its role in the country’s economy.

He said interest from Kenya Prisons, National Youth Service, Kenya Wildlife Service, and police training college contracting KMC for their supplies was a sign of the renewed trust in the commission.

KMC, which was initially under the Ministry of Agriculture, was in September 2020 transferred to the Ministry of Defence.

While the move has been contested in court, President Kenyatta yesterday defended the decision albeit with a lot of care. “Past administration has made efforts to jumpstart KMC, but for reasons which are known never succeeded and a lot of public funds went astray,” he said.

He noted the transfer had eased payments to farmers — some who had gone for four years without compensation after supplying animals.

The commission plans to pay farmers within 72 hours.

“The commission’s business reorganisation plan has kicked off in earnest with offsetting debts to all farmers,” said Defence Cabinet Secretary Monica Juma.

 

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