BY JOAN WANJIKU,NAIROBI,24TH MAY,2021-President Uhuru Kenyatta has defended his decision to move KMC from the Ministry of Agriculture to Defence stating that it has bore fruits.
Speaking in Athi River during the opening of the refurbished Kenya Meat Commission on Monday, Uhuru said the transformation which the disciplined forces had made to the struggling meat processing factory was evident.
“Since the transfer in September 2020, the transformation is evident. The cost of rehabilitation of the factory was just a fraction of what had been quoted before, ” Uhuru said.
He said the factory has been in the doldrums for many decades and that he took the initiative to revitalize the commission after recognising that millions of Kenyans derive their livelihoods from the livestock sector.
“Further when we were making the decision to revitalize KMC, we also took the account that the commission was once a true mark of progress and quality. The factory, however, was left lying ruined,” said.
He added, “Past administrations have made efforts to jump start KMC but unfortunately never succeed and lots of public funds went a stray. That is one of the major factors that guided my decision to transfer KMC from its traditional home to the Ministry of Defence.”
The president said the revival of the factory under the auspices of DOD was significant to the livestock sector. He said half of the Kenyan population depends on the sector.
“This sector has economic local and export potential,” Uhuru said.
The Head of State told the KMC new management to fulfill their promise of ensuring that farmers were paid within 72 hours after delivering their livestock.
He said meat uptake by KDF was considerably high adding that NYS, KWS, Kenya prisons services will by June start procuring meat from KMC.
The president was accompanied by CSs Monica Juma (defence) and Farida Karoney, (lands), CAS Wavinya Ndeti, Kalonzo Musyoka and Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua.
Uhuru also said that meat and meat products should join the growing the list of food items that are being exported to the rest of the world.
“Meat and meat products have tremendous value and have the potential of being a driver of individual and national prosperity.
“I believe that once again meat products should join the growing list of food items that we are currently exporting,” Uhuru said.
Uhuru also urged KMC to push for the certification of KMC meat products so that they can be exported.
“KMC fits very well into the food security initiative of the Big 4 agenda and indeed improved meat productivity that will spur not only the livestock sector but also revamp activities linked to the industrial scale meat processing,” the president said.