People Daily

KMC calls for formation of livestock famers association

Turkish aid to help develop feedlots in arid and semi-arid areas to boost production and meat quality as Commission 

Mutuku Mwangangi @PitzPitah

The Kenya Meat Commission (KMC) has entered into an agreement with a Turkish aid agency to develop livestock feedlots in Arid and Semi Arid (Asal) regions.

KMC Managing Commissioner, Joseph Learamo, says the meat factory is concerned with livestock losses during prolonged droughts where thousands of animals die. “Currently, we can hardly get livestock with more than 100 kilogrammes dead weight due to poor feeding, breeding, among other aspects, which will be addressed in this project,” said Learamo.

The project aims at  improveing livestock production and value chain management especially the North Eastern counties.  The Turkish International Development and Coordination Agency (Tica) is partnering with KMC in the project.  A delegation from Kenya recently toured Turkey and witnessed how livestock is reared in an exchange project.

The KMC boss was speaking at the sidelines of a KMC stakeholders forum held at the factory’s plant in Athi River, Machakos county. The meeting was attended by farmers, development partners and representatives of the Frontier Counties Development Council that covers eight north Kenya pastoral counties.

KMC chairman Ntoros Olesenteu said the factory will organise the formation of a Livestock Producers Association to ensure improved production and living standards of pastoralists.                           

He said the livestock production industry is critical, but it is not being given sufficient attention by the government and decision makers. “There are lots of challenges facing livestock farmers in the country, natural ones as well as manmade. Prolonged drought, pests and diseases are major problems which affect livestock  production especially in Asal counties,” he said.

The chairman said livestock farmers also suffer from poor prices due to explotation by middlemen. “Low prices of livestock frustrate farmers countrywide, even after rains and when cattle are in good condition,” he said.

The proposed Livestock Producers Association will be a lobby group just like those of coffee, tea and sugarcane farmers. Olesenteu’s sentiments were echoed by Mohamed Guleid, the chairman Frontier Counties Development Council  (FCDC), who said pastoralists are being exploited by middlemen and brokers who control market prices.

He hailed the Turkish-KMC deal to establish feedlots in the country, saying that it will help pastoralists in mitigating severe livestock feed challenges while improving quality of their animals.

During the forum, farmers urged the commission to speedup payment of livestock delivered a year ago, with debts amounting to millions of shilings.

Rehabilitation of two of Kenya’s largest meat abattoirs operated by the KMC at Kibarani in Mombasa and Athi River kicked off last year. The upgrade, expected to cost Sh3.4 billion, is expected to modernise and automate the two meat-processing plants.  

The Kibarani plant is being rehabilitated at a cost of Sh600 million and is expected to increase the number of livestock slaughtered per day from 150 to 300 animals. At the Athi River factory, the upgrade  will cost Sh2.4 billion after which the abbatoir will processing 1,000 animals daily.

KMC Managing commissioner Joseph Learamo says the commission is concerned with livestock losses during prolonged droughts where thousands of animals die from starvation.

The project is intended to improve livestock production and value chain management in the country especially the North Eastern counties.  “Currently, we can hardly get livestock with more than 100 kilogrammes dead weight due to poor feeding, breeding among other aspects which will be addressed in this project,” said Learamo.

The Turkish International Development and Coordination Agency (TICA) is partnering with KMC in the project.  A delegation from Kenya recently visited Turkey in an exchange programme and witnessed how livestock is reared in Turkey.

The KMC boss was speaking at the sidelines of a KMC Stakeholders Forum held at the factory’s plant in Athi River, Machakos county. The meeting was attended by farmers, development partners and representatives of the Frontier Counties Development Council that covers eight north Kenya pastoral counties

KMC chairman Ntoros Olesenteu said the factory will organise livestock farmers to form a Livestock Producers Association to ensure improved production and living standards of livestock producers in Asal areas.                           

He said the livestock production industry is critical but it is not given sufficient attention by the government and decision makers in the country. “There are lots of challenges facing livestock farmers in the country, natural ones as well as manmade. Prolonged drought, pests and diseases are major problems which affect livestock  production especially in Asal counties,” said Olesenteu.

The chairman said livestock farmers suffer from poor prices due to middlemen. “There are poor prices of livestock in all the 47 counties. Even if it rains and livestock are in good condition, prices are always low,” he said.

The proposed Livestock Producers Association will be a lobby group just like those of coffee, tea and sugarcane farmers. Olesenteu’s sediments were echoed by Mohamed Guleid, the chairman Frontier Counties Development Council  (FCDC), who said pastoralists are being exploited middlemen and brokers who control market prices.

He hailed the Turkish-KMC deal to establish feedlots in the country, saying that it will help pastoralists in mitigating severe livestock feed challenges while improving quality of their animals.

During the forum, farmers urged the commission to speedup payment of livestock delivered a year ago, with debts amounting to millions of shilings.

KMC is in a process of modernisation, which will in turn increase the number of animals slaughtered in a day. Rehabilitation of two of Kenya’s largest meat abattoirs operated by the KMC at Kibarani in Mombasa and Athi River kicked off last year. The upgrade, expected to cost Sh3.4 billion, is expected to modernise and automate the two meat-processing plants.  

The Kibarani plant is being rehabilitated at a cost of Sh600 million while the upgrade of the Athi River factory will cost Sh2.4 billion. The upgrade is expected to increase the number of livestock slaughtered per day at the Kibarani abattoir from 150 animals to 300 while the Athi River will be processing 1,000 animals daily.

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