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Kenya plans safety protocols to boost livestock exports

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya is developing health and safety protocols to boost livestock exports, an official said on Wednesday.

Harry Kimutai, principal secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Irrigation, told an agricultural forum in Nairobi that currently Kenya’s livestock cannot access the lucrative overseas markets due to high prevalence of animal diseases such as foot-and-mouth disease.

“The protocols will ensure that livestock meet stringent standards imposed by importing countries,” Kimutai said during the Commercial Bank of Africa Economic Forum.

Kimutai said that Middle East countries such Saudi Arabia and Oman have already expressed interest in purchasing live animals from Kenya.

He said that the livestock will be quarantined at the Bachuma Livestock Export Processing Zone before they are exported.

The government has already set aside 1 million U.S. dollars to develop the livestock exporting processing zone, which will be operational by June 2019, Kimutai said.

Kenya will use the public-private-partnership model to expand production of the livestock sector, he said.

The ministry also plans to amend the Branding of Stock Act to allow for the introduction of the Livestock Identification and Traceability System (LITS), Kimutai said, noting that the system will help enhance food security. 



Kenyan poultry farmers slam importation of cheap chicken from U.S.

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenyan poultry farmers on Wednesday protested against a recent importation of cheap poultry products into the country from the United States.

The farmers said that the importation of cheap poultry products was inconsiderate of the prevailing situation within the poultry sub sector.

“The importation threatens local farmers since it could force them out of business,” Humphrey Mbugua, manager of Association of Kenya Feed Manufacturers, told journalists in Nairobi.

The farmers revealed that a recent importation was suspicious since attempts to bring the products into the country failed, forcing the importers to ship it to Zanzibar, repackage and deliver to the Kenyan market.

Mbugua said that it is unfortunate that the imported poultry products are those that cannot be consumed in the U.S..

“It is important that we appeal to the government to put in place measures that could help farmers produce poultry for export and local consumption,” he said.

The farmers called for a balanced trade between Kenya and foreign countries to help contribute to food security, creation of jobs, reduction of poverty and inequality.

They cautioned the government against importing poultry products from agriculturally developed countries to help avoid exposing local poultry to outbreaks of Avian Influenza.

He challenged the government to develop a fair trade guideline within the East African region since to date, some countries have free access to the Kenyan market but restrict Kenyan poultry from accessing their market.

The farmers also recommended that feed millers be given opportunity to import duty free yellow corn to help increase the number of poultry in the country.

“We need to adopt Genetically Modified (GMO) maize that is already grown and consumed globally to help improve the chicken feeds industry,” the farmers said.

The farmers also called for the introduction of contract farming into growing of soya beans, sunflower, sorghum, millet and cassava to add in the animal feeds industry.

“The new approach would change the fortunes of farmers through cheaper quality inputs and benefit consumers in terms of constant availability, and eventually cheaper products,” said Mbugua.

According to Francis Wanderi, a poultry farmer in Dagoreti in the outskirts of Nairobi, production of broilers is high due to the high price of electricity.

“Coupled with the cheap imports into the country, the sub sector is likely to collapse if farmers are not protected by the government.” Wanderi said.


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