Plans to improve local and export meat Market
Plan aimed at reorganizing the livestock sector to improve local and export market for beef has already kicked off in Laikipia County.
County government aims at ensuring pastoralists shift from traditional ways of rearing livestock, to disease free compartments and establishment of fodder reserves to improve quality and quantity of livestock.
On Friday , Laikipia County Governor Nderitu Muriithi brought together various stakeholders in the livestock value chain, who agreed to have the first feedlot in the area by the end of 2018.
Those who were present in the meeting included representatives from Kenya Meat Commission (KMC), Kenya Veterinary Association, Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) National Drought, Management Authority (NDMA) Ranchers and Pastoralists, financial Institutions and Livestock traders.
“Our aim is to raise productivity of livestock sector by reviewing cultural beliefs relating livestock ownership by applying simple modern techniques that will give us more value,’ Governor Muriithi noted.
Livestock is the second main source of livelihood after agriculture in the County and is dominantly in the northern part.
The County government in partnership with Kenya Commercial bank (KCB) Foundation is set to launch a livestock identification and traceability project targeting about 10,000 animals with an aim of minimizing livestock thefts, disease control and easing animal movements.
Traceability will help to market the County’s livestock products internationally and enable consumers to track down information about them.
During the meeting, it was disclosed that Laikipia Nature Conservancy is among some of the private and community ranches, which have already set aside land for growing reserve fodder.
Managing Director, KMC Joseph Learampo, noted his facility could hardly meet the demand for meat due to insufficient quality livestock to slaughter which presents an opportunity for Laikipia as the bedrock of the Boran cattle.
‘A delegation from middle East is set to visit the facility in January 2018 to sign a deal that would see KMC supply 30,000 metric tonnes of beef quarterly’’ he noted.
Learampo said unfortunately most of Kenyan cattle were weak and when slaughtered weigh between 70-80 kilograms instead of the ideal 300 kilograms.
Kenya lost her beef export quota to the European Union (EU) 25 years ago due to poor disease control.
By Margaret Kirera