Uhuru defends his move to put meat agency under KDF
President Uhuru Kenyatta yesterday defended his move to transfer the management and assets of the Athi-River -based Kenya Meat Commission (KMC) to the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF).
Speaking when he officially re-launched the Athi-River based facilit, Uhuru said mismanagement had previously rendered revival of the giant meat processor fruitless but was upbeat KDF will revamp the factory.
He urged the commission to adopt the use of modern technology to ensure maximum utilisation of the modern machines to increase efficiency and productivity.
“Recognising the role KMC plays in the economy of the country, we took into account that its revival required a rigorous process.
Past administration’s have tried to revamp the processor but for obvious reasons a lot of money went to the drain and our farmers left suffering,” he said.
The President demanded that the new management pays livestock farmers within 72 hours of delivery to the facility.
He further challenged the facility to plan on exporting the surplus to Europe, Middle East and Africa.
“I don’t want to see KMC slipping back to olden days when farmers were paid after four years or not paid, maintain the payment period at 72 hours,” said Uhuru.
Uhuru said he made the decision to move the loss making processor from its traditional home to safeguard the source of livelihoods of millions of Kenyans.
“It was necessary for government to get involved deeply in management. The stewardship of KDF will help streamline the commission’s productivity to compete internationally.
KMC must reclaim its giant position in the country’s economy,” Uhuru said.
The President said since KDF took over the processor in September 2020, significant improvement in services had been made.
“We are satisfied and glad for the positive changes that you have so far brought in the management of this facility.
Farmers who have waited for long to receive their dues have since been paid, “said Uhuru.
He said the government will continue adopting policies and frameworks that facilitate high quality productivity and value addition, to make the meat processor competitive internationally.
The President further said that government through KMC would reach out to establish partnerships across all counties and engage them as suppliers to facilitate a lucrative high quality meat sector.
Kibarani and Shimanzi processors are also top on the list of facilities that will be soon revamped to facilitate export of meat products.
Since KDF took over the management of the processor farmers who supply cattle have are paid within 72hours.
KMC, which was established in 1950, has time to time been cash-trapped and was revived in 2006 by President Mwai Kibaki after a four-years closure, but its production had deteriorated by day with poor management cited as the major hindrances.