KENYA – Kenyan government has urged livestock farmers in the country to increase their meat production to meet the demand of the rapidly growing human population across the globe for meat and value-added products.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries, and Co-operatives, the tremendous growth offers the country an opportunity to explore the livestock production sector covering the 1.3 billion population who depend on livestock for a livelihood.

Speaking at the official opening of the second edition of the Kenya Meat Expo at the KICC, Agriculture Cabinet Secretary, Mithika Linturi cited that the continuous demand for meat products and other livestock products is additional proof of a sector with immense prospects.

“Kenya’s meat industry has been growing over time as processed products fetch a lucrative market both locally and internationally and has the potential to create numerous job opportunities,” said Mr. Linturi. 

He urged livestock farmers to adopt modern technologies in processing as part of efforts to achieve industrialization in the sector.

Mr. Linturi reiterated the government’s commitment to developing the livestock sector, saying, the move includes putting in place policies to enable local producers to meet global standards for animal products.

“To achieve the goals the government will partner with players in the private sector to assist in achieving a total overhaul of the whole sector to align ourselves with global market standards,” he added.

According to the FAO Agricultural Outlook report, growth in global consumption of meat proteins over the next decade is projected to increase by 14% by 2030 compared to the base period average of 2018-2020, driven largely by income and population.

The report cited that protein availability from beef, pork, poultry, and sheep meat is projected to grow by 5.9%, 13.1%, 17.8%, and 15.7% respectively by 2030.

By 2050, global meat consumption was projected to reach between 460 million and 570 million tons by which 570 million tons would mean a consumption of meat twice as high as in 2008.

FAO added that International meat prices declined in 2020 due to the impact of COVID-19, which temporarily curtailed meat demand by some leading consuming and importing countries.

However, with the increasing demand for meat products, the report added that consumers are also expressing their concerns about meat production systems, including traceability and the use of antimicrobials in feeds.

While the technical benefits of antimicrobial use in animal production are well documented, there is a growing preference for antimicrobial-free meat due to the global risks associated with antimicrobial resistance, FAO added.

“If antimicrobial-free meat production systems are adopted by an increasing share of producers, this may affect global meat markets, albeit in the longer term,” FAO cited.

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