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Kenya has renewed its quest to have its meat products access the European Union market.
Kenya’s meat products were blocked from the market after the country failed to create disease-free zones and meet hygiene conditions making it lose beef export quota of 400,000 tonnes per year.
The quota was given to Botswana that has a fairly well developed livestock sector.
Cabinet Secretary for Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, Mr Felix Kosgey said they have opened discussions with several countries, including those in Europe, to enable meat produced in the country access that market.
“We are talking to other markets outside the country like European Union to ensure they take our beef, mutton and other meat products. We are revamping the Kenya Meat Commission to ensure (the process) from the farmer to the market is smooth all the way,” he said.
At one time in the 1970s, Kenya relied on the EU market where about 66 per cent of canned beef consumed in that market was exported by the Kenya Meat Commission.
To reclaim these market, Kenya plans to vaccinate 61 million cattle this year against foot and mouth diseases and other trade-sensitive diseases.
“Our plan is to ensure that the sector achieves a 4 per cent reduction in pest-related infections as we seek to benchmark the livestock sub-sector with the international standards,” he said.
He was briefing the media on the sector on the sides of Africa Livestock Conference and Exhibition (Alice) at Safari Park hotel on Wednesday.
The Cabinet Secretary, however, said despite the livestock sector being among the major pillars of the economy, it faces several challenges that must be addressed to enable it play a greater role in the creation of wealth.
Some of the challenges include climate change, production constraints and lack of markets.
He said slaughterhouses will be set in counties to enable them meet local demand.
– Daily Nation