Kenya Meat Commission to re-open after undergoing facelift by KDF
By Philip Mwakio
| May 24th 2021
The Kenya Meat Commission is set to start operating after undergoing a facelift.
The plant in Athi River, Machakos County, is to go into full operation today with the government anticipating profits.
Defence Cabinet Secretary Monica Juma said over the last few months, Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) has carried out refurbishment works at the factory and set up a robust business system to cater for the needs of livestock farmers and the general public.
The ministerial responsibility of the meat processor was transferred from Agriculture to Defence on September 7, 2020.
“From the beginning, we knew the takeover and revamp was not our usual task. We also knew from the start that failure was not an option. The strategic guidance to Defence ministry was to revamp operations and production with the objective of ensuring the commission’s survival,” she said.
The CS noted that officers deployed to KMC worked round the clock to revamp it, responding to the needs of the stakeholders, including paying outstanding debts and effecting proactive components of income generation to benefit Kenyans as well as livestock farmers.
“I can now confirm that the facility is revamped, systems tested and ready to contribute to the national food security,” she said.
Information contained in the Defence ministry website indicates that the ministry will be launching a series of critical projects in what is dubbed as ‘Badge of Honour’ in the next 15 days prior to the Madaraka Day celebrations to be held in Kisumu.
“In the next 15 days, the Ministry of Defence, in line with its mandate to aid civil authorities in executing directives of the government, will launch a number of projects that contribute to the national development agenda,” the CS said.
Another key milestone being observed during the 15-day period is the awarding of the charter to the National Defence University by President Uhuru Kenyatta on May 27.
“This is a significant addition to the growing ecosystem of centres of excellence in training within the ministry. Without a well-grounded human resource at the strategic policy level, any government would not effectively pursue its desired development path,” she said.
The launch for the 217km Nakuru-Kisumu metre gauge railway line is also listed as part of the projects. The full functioning of this railroad will provide seamless transportation from the Mombasa Port to Kisumu.
Juma also announced that to spur the manufacturing pillar, the Kenya Shipyards Limited, the newest State corporation under the Ministry of Defence, will be launched on May 31.
The facility is mandated to catalyse shipbuilding and unlock the Blue economy in Lake Victoria.
The construction, rehabilitation and expansion of the shipyard will restore Kisumu port into a modern regional lake transport hub with an improved capability to handle large volumes of cargo.
“Regional East African Co-operation commerce is set for renewal by the movement of ferries and other marine vessels plying Kisumu (Kenya)-Jinja (Uganda)-Musoma (Tanzania) ports,” the ministry states.
Both the railway and shipyard are set to spur economic activity through the facilitation of the movement of people, goods and services across Kenya and into Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Juma noted that each of these projects has been executed ahead of their estimated completion time amidst a number of challenges.
“Since last year, our nation has been grappling with the Covid-19 pandemic that has disrupted our growth trajectory. We have also been contending with floods and locusts. In spite of this, our officers kept the work going,” she said.
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