NAIROBI, Kenya, May 19 – Livestock Development Minister Mohamed Kuti has stressed the need for the Kenya Meat Commission (KMC) to put in place competent staff to run the commission.
Mr Kuti said that doing this is the only sound way to ensure that livestock farming contributes to the economic development of the country.
“What I would like to see is not Kenya Meat Commission as such competing with the local butcheries,” the Livestock Development Minister said.
“I would like Kenya Meat Commission to re-arrange its marketing strategy in such a way that it becomes the export market for our livestock or beef products,” he stated.
The Minister was speaking after inaugurating the new KMC board to be headed by Chairman Abdi Adan Suleiman.
He further said that the board would be expected to look into ways of improving the livestock sector.
“Your appointment us a challenging responsibility coming at a time when the livestock producers in the arid and semi-arid lands have very high expectations from the Kenya Meat Commission,” Mr Kuti outlined.
The KMC is on the verge of a total shutdown, just three years after it was officially re-opened by President Mwai Kibaki in a colourful ceremony.
Supplies of livestock are dwindling even as the management hopes the Government will pump in more money to keep afloat what now appears to have been a political project, rather than a well-grounded business.
The Athi River based factory is not only facing a serious management crisis, but is also so debt-ridden, and is struggling to pay its workers and livestock suppliers, most of whom have stopped deliveries.
Loopholes in management have also created a situation that could encourage corrupt practices.
The Minister went on to outline some of the factors, which contribute to the deterioration of KMC.
He said that top on the list was the effects of the Rift Valley Fever which took a great toll in cattle numbers within the country.
Mr Kuti further stated that inefficiencies and a lack of infrastructure in running the body also contributed towards KMC’s downfall.
The livestock sector plays a significant role in the economy of the country. The whole sector is estimated to account for 10 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and about 47 percent of the agricultural GDP.
Minister Kuti said that the roles and functions of the KMC Board included the reviewing of the strategic plan developed in 2007, and implementing the business plan developed last year aiming to turnaround the profitability of the KMC.