Why farmers are happy with KDF efforts at Kenya Meat Commission
Athi River-based Kenya Meat Commission (KMC) which is now under Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) management is getting rare accolades on account of its significant transformation, especially after straightening the challenges in the value chain.
Speaking during Mashujaa Day celebrations held in Kirinyaga county a week ago President Uhuru Kenyatta said the new management had been able to reduce all bad debt within its first six months of operation.
“KMC has made tremendous economic strides that are key in the growth of the country’s economy.
Under the current management, the commission is now out of its bad debt woods that had crippled its operation making it unsustainable,” Uhuru observed.
The rebranded Athi River plant was officially launched by the president on 24th May, but cartels went to court pulling back efforts to regenerate the plant, but new developments seem to have vindicated the president saying KDF was meant to make the commission more efficient and profitable.
A senior officer within the commission’s management hinted to Business Hub that the processor, which is now a cashless retail outlet, coupled with high quality meat and attempts to make the abattoir a graft-free zone have started to realise gains.
Cartels barred from plant
“We no longer have individuals who find they way to the processor and slaughter their own animals free of charge using government abattoir. There is no compromise of the quality of animal slaughtered here.
Opening the cashless meat outlet to the public for raw, cooked and roasted meat has been a true transformation on the fortunes of this plant,” said the source who did not want to be named.
KMC had in the past been characterized by millions of debts owned to its suppliers, massive corruption and mismanagement leading to underperformance and massive sacking of workers from time to time.
“There is also no room for rogue businessmen who used to supply air and receive millions of money at the expense of legit livestock suppliers,” our source said.
Farmers who are currently grappling with adverse effects of drought and to depletion of pasture and water say KMC’s transformation has eased their struggle during drought.
Previously the farmers would decline to supply livestock to Kmc because of delayed payment that would drag up to five years.
Most farmers would cling to hope of rains with livestock ending up dying of hunger.
“As farmers we are happy that we are not only able to supply our livestock to the meat processor but the prompt payment we are receiving,” said Paul Tuleto from Korompoi.
The farmers say rogue brokers are a thing of the past making them reap more profits.
“In the past we had to deal with brokers to reach KMC. Currently as a farmer you just need to arrive with your animals in a lorry get weighed and you go home with an invoice, within 72 hours, you receive your pay.
Previously it was hard to tell amounts that have been paid for a cattle. We were at the mercy of brokers,” said Samuel Tupet.
Payments within 72 hours
“ We used to be paid in kilogrammes after a cow has been slaughtered. Nowadays the live weight is what is considered which means as a farmer you do not lose even a single gram of the weight of your animal,” said Wilson Kirayian.
Farmers say the giant meat processor management has also been able to tame livestock theft since they are keen on inspection of all animals on sale in the firm.
“The fact that the management is currently under KDF has also scared livestock thieves who fear being caught up with stolen livestock,” added Kirayian.