NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 18 – The government will not shut down the Kenya Meat Commission (KMC) which is currently faced with mismanagement hitches.
This is according to the Cabinet Secretary for Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries Felix Koskei, who says the government will instead be seeking Sh700 million to revamp and make the commission more viable.
Speaking after a tour at KMC Kibarani branch in Mombasa on Wednesday, Koskei said the commission has an outstanding debt of Sh330 million due to past mismanagement.
“My ministry has no intention of closing any branch of KMC but requires money to free the commission from bondage of outstanding debts caused by mismanagement,” said Kosgei.
He said the ministry is committed to turn around the commission to make it more effective and improve its productivity.
“Among the proposals is to revamp the currently old technology of meat processing which is very costly,” Koskei announced.
“We are appealing to the National Treasury to allocate funds to revive the industry that has a growth potential growth of almost 12 percent of the country’s GDP (Gross Domestic Product) within a short term,” said Koskei.
He says plans are underway to privatise the commission to make it more competitive.
“We want the private sector to be brought on board and bring an investment program to make it operate efficiently before it is privatized,” Koskei said.
He has in the meantime directed an audit to be carried at all KMC branches adding that those found to have misappropriated the funds will be prosecuted.
The Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture and Livestock has already summoned the Cabinet Secretary over the government’s plan to shut down the Kenya Meat Commission plant in Mombasa County.
The branch is currently operating at 10 percent of its capacity and with salary arrears for its 80 employees and livestock suppliers.