Kenyan farmers can now export their beef products to Uganda after President Yoweri Museveni lifted the ban on imports into the country following trade talks with President Uhuru Kenyatta.
The ban was imposed in 1997 over safety concerns following the outbreak of mad cow and rinderpest diseases which have since been controlled.
According to the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics the total value of cattle and calves sold increased from Sh84.7bn in 2016 to Sh93.6bn in 2017. On the other hand the total value of sheep and goats marketed increased from 5.77bn to Sh6.78bn during the same period.
In this, the number cattle and calves slaughtered in abattoirs rose from 2.46m in the year 2016 to 2.59m in 2017. The country produced 724,000 metric tons of meat in 2017 out of which 589,000 metric tons were beef, poultry 106,000 metric tons and others accounted for 2,000 metric tons. 2,000 metric tons was exported.
During the same period under review, the survey reveals that the total number of sheep and goats slaughtered for meat consumption purposes increased to 9.21m from 8.22m recorded in the previous year.
In the same year Kenya exported 400 heads of cattle to the Middle East.
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The Kenya Dairy Board statistics indicate that the country has a cattle population of 17.4m, sheep population of 17.1m and a goats’ population of 27.7m.
Uganda has a population of 11.4m cattle according to FAO. The country annually produces 185 709 metric tons of beef with the per capita consumption averaging about nine Kilos per year in a population of 42m people.
According to the Kenya Veterinary Vaccines Production Institute, the livestock sector contributes about 12 per cent to Kenya’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), 40 per cent to the agricultural GDP and employs 50 per cent of agricultural labor force.
About 60 per cent of Kenya’s livestock herd is found in the arid and semi-arid lands (ASALs), which constitute about 70 per cent of the country. It is estimated that 10m Kenyans living in the ASALs derive their livelihood largely from livestock.