OMUTHIYA - Northern Communal Areas (NCAs) are net importers of beef from south of the Veterinary Cordon Fence (VCF), despite a higher livestock population in the areas, says Meatco Foundation’s report on an overview of the market in the NCAs.
Based on 2013 statistics, the report indicates that NCAs do not consume own meat despite having thousands of cattle and it is estimated that 112 460 cattle was consumed per annum. Of that, 69 868 were slaughtered for wedding and funerals, while 12 240 were traded through open markets and roadside stalls; and only 30 352 were consumed through formal business market outlets.
It is estimated that formal business markets import about 42.2 percent of their beef south of the red line. “A consumer survey conducted, indicated that formal businesses are unable to procure locally from NCAs because fresh produced and processed meat was insufficient and supply was unreliable. The meat is also of low quality,” stressed Meatco Foundation’s Executive Director, Kingsley Kwenani, during a liaison meeting with farmers and various stakeholders at Omuthiya.
The meeting is held for all the NCAs to get inputs from farmers on how a market can be created, improved and to encourage beef consumption. This will together form part of a comprehensive strategic plan. For the past few years, NCAs farmers have been without a proper market for selling their cattle. “Before we talk about selling our meat south of the veterinary cordon fence and beyond the borders, let’s first create and have a market here in the north and produce more. In addition, let us also improve quality of our livestock. That’s when we can consider exporting to others, when we have a surplus, otherwise, why would you want someone to eat meat that you yourself cannot eat?” Kwenani asked the participants.
Cattle offtake in NCAs is 8.1 percent as opposed to 25 percent in areas south of the red line. Last month, the Ministry of Finance directed that all national requirements for meat, fresh produce, cereal and flour should be sourced from suppliers north of the cordon fence. The new order discourages the procurement of meat, fresh produce, cereal and flour south of the VCF, unless supply is not sufficient to satisfy the demand. This move is expected to greatly benefit local farmers, as they will have a direct market.
Meatco is aiming to devise ways on how it can create market opportunities for NCAs farmers. Some of the factors pointed out for low consumption in NCAs was that the meet is of low quality, farmers not market oriented, exorbitant prices and lack of capacity building. The Meatco Foundation thus noted that there is a need to improve animal health, improve quality of raw materials and enhance capacity building, as well as create market opportunities for cattle and meat products.
According to Kwenani, its estimated and envisaged that NCAs can slaughter 95060 cattle per annum at nine abattoirs.
2019-03-25 09:11:21 27 days ago