Tuesday, July 22, 2008


The Government of Kenya has resumed live animal exports by shipping 895 live cattle to Mauritius with an export value of Sh30 million flagged off yesterday by Livestock and Development minister Mohammed Kuti.

The livestock export was suspended for the last two years after an outbreak of Rift Valley Fever in the country.

According to official statistics, Kenyan ranchers earned Sh430 million from meat product exports between 2004 and 2006. Besides Mauritius, Egypt and Malaysia have made inquiries on meat exports with demands also rising in the Middle East. However, this demand can only be met once the country acquires quality certification. Kenya has a preferential quota of 142,000 tonnes of meat under the African Caribbean Pacific preferential beef export agreement but this has not been exploited due to concerns over trade sensitive diseases,” the minister said.

According to him, the Middle East alone has a net demand of 122,000 Metric tonnes of meat which provides an opportunity for Kenya to exploit. Minister Kuti urges people from Northern Kenya to take advantage of the live export, hence enhancing their economic potential.

Presently, the department of veterinary services is operating with about 800 of the 2500 officers needed for animal husbandry. The government has already injected Sh150 million to tackle the personnel issues, Kuti said.

He blamed the ban on livestock export on inadequate resources and offloading of key services to the private sector.

Mr Kuti said that the ministry would now create Diseases Free Zones starting with three within the Northern Kenya, Coast, Laikipia and Southern Rift regions complete with effective livestock surveillance and control tools.