From May 3-5, 2023, AU-IBAR and other strategic partners, including Nation Media, the State Department of Livestock, the Kenya Meat and Livestock Exporters Industry Council, the Kenya Retail Trade Association of Kenya, the United States Agency for International Development, Gatsby Africa, and the Kenya Meat Commission, participated in the 2nd Kenya Meat Expo at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre in Nairobi. The expo was held under the theme: “Promoting resilience in the meat industry through investment and innovation for job creation and economic growth”
Nation Media Group (NMG), a local media company, is the primary organiser of the conference, and collaborating with the State Department of Livestock Development and commercial stakeholders and development partners.
Notably, AU-IBAR funded a portion of a panel discussion on Feed and Fodder, which addressed issues pertaining to feed and fodder sector development, feed lots, and seed stock. Participation and discussion were supported by the AU-IBAR Project, Resilient African Feed and Fodder Systems (RAFFS) Project funded by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
The panellists included IGAD, represented by Dr. Wamalwa Kinyanjui, an expert in animal health, and Mr. David Maina, managing director of Perfometer/ Feedlots Kenya, as well as ACDI/VOCA and AKEFEMA representatives. The panel discussion highlighted current challenges in the feed and fodder sub-sector that Kenya Framers are experiencing, such as Shortages of Quality Feed, the significance of a balanced nutrition programme for animals, feed loss due to poor crop performance, and climate change. In general, the panelists concurred that there is a need for additional policy environments to reduce input costs.
It is anticipated that the demand for livestock and value-added products will increase as a result of the global population's rapid growth. According to the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries, and Cooperatives, Kenya is now in a position to investigate additional livestock production opportunities as a result of this tremendous growth.
In anticipation of the global population reaching nine billion by 2050, Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mithika Linturi (above picture), urged livestock farmers to increase production. Mr. Linturi, speaking to participants during the event's official inauguration, cited the continued demand for meat products, leather, and other products in the livestock value chain as further evidence of the sector's immense potential. He noted that 1,3 billion people worldwide depend on livestock for a living, and that the livestock industry has the potential to generate numerous employment opportunities, particularly for young people and women.
Mr. Linturi reaffirmed the government's dedication to developing the livestock sector, noting that this includes policies to enable local producers to meet global standards for animal products. These measures include a complete overhaul of the sector to align with global market standards, as well as the introduction of insurance and off-take programmes in areas classified as arid and semi-arid lands, which account for a large portion of Kenya's meat output.
Livestock farmers can meet suppliers, retailers, and distributors, as well as learn about cutting-edge processing techniques, at the Meat Expo. After a year off, from the 1st Meat Expo held in 2022, the event returned with a plethora of displays from both domestic and international vendors. Processing machinery and other cutting-edge technology were also on show.
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