Wednesday, September 28, 2022
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Kuwait and Bahrain lift ban on Kenya’s meat exports

After the successful shipment of Kenyan mangoes to Italy of this week and the removal by Kenya of the self-ban on export of mangoes to the European Union, also Kuwait and Bahrain have lifted the ban on Kenya’s meat exports after the country started vaccination exercises against the Rift Valley fever in the affected areas, and complied with global health standards at its export processing facilities.

In August 5, 2021, some lucrative Middle East markets such as Qatar, Bahrain and Kuwait banned meat and meat products imports from Kenya after the country reported to the World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH) an outbreak of Rift valley fever disease in some parts of Kiambu county. The Rift Valley fever (RVF) is a viral communicable disease most commonly seen in domesticated animals in sub-Saharan Africa, such as cattle, buffalo, sheep, goats, and camels.

Qatar, that still maintains the ban, is worried about the lack in Kenya of an effective livestock traceability system. Indeed, although some initiatives have been recently piloted in the country to ensure traceability of beef value chains, they have not led to the establishment of an operational traceability system, as explained in a recent paper published by the Nairobi-based International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI). Livestock traceability refers to the ability to follow an animal or group of animals during all stages of their life, by providing to all actors in the supply chain with timely, accurate, and relevant information to reduce the impacts of a disease outbreak, food safety issue or other natural diseases affecting livestock.

Recently, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Co-operation and Development, under the Business Scouts for Development programme, has partnered with the Kenya Markets Trust (a Kenyan non-profit organisation that aims at developing a modernized, efficient, organized and competitive meat industry in the country) in a programme aimed at increasing efficiency and profitability of the livestock sector. The programme seeks to strengthen evidence for the business case for meat processors to invest in skills, technologies and product innovation and is being implemented by the Germany Development Agency (GIZ). This month, meat industry firms have been invited to submit applications (deadline 15 October), for a pilot project under the programme that seeks to impact food processing through technical innovation and mechanization, hoping to catalyse large-scale uptake of hygienic standards and increased competitiveness in the meat industry.





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