The Kenya Meat Commission was today reopened by H.E Hon. Uhuru Kenyatta, President of the Republic of Kenya and the Commander in Chief of the Defence Forces at Athi River, Machakos County.
The reopening comes months after the President fully transferred the management of the commission from the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries to the Ministry of Defence. The transfer mandated the KDF to redesign the infrastructure of the commission with a view of making it more viable to meet food challenges in the county.
Speaking during the event, the Commander in Chief lauded the KDF family for taking an active role in the realization of the turn-around of the commission to what it is today, adding that transformation is evident in the commission.
The President acknowledged the importance of the transformation noting that millions of Kenyans rely on livestock as their only mainstay. “The revival of this factory will help farmers some of whom waited for four years to get their pay within 72 hours from the time of delivery and help create predictability in the livestock sector,” he added.
He challenged the new management to do more and leverage the opportunity at hand by capitalizing on the existing brand recognition to achieve desired objectives.
Highlighting the undertakings of the new management since the transfer, the Cabinet Secretary for Defence Amb. Dr. Monica Juma noted that the ministry has morphed up all the commission’s assets for the purpose of accountability and that the commission has embarked on development of a robust business plan for its prosperity.
“The business plan will drive the facility back into profitability and sustainable enterprise in line with the President’s guidance for turnaround strategy of the commission,” she said. The Cabinet Secretary underscored that the business reorganization plan has kicked off in earnest starting with offsetting all pending payments owed by the commission.
“A robust plan on a competitive acquisition of livestock and timely payment to suppliers on time has been implemented with positive feedback,” the CS stated.
Chief of the Defence Force General Robert Kibochi said that the commission has since attained its objective since handover to the Ministry of Defence. “For sustainable operation, the KDF seconded specialized teams to the commission to spur it turn-around and inculcate the culture of discipline that has been lacking. This will go a long way in ensuring that the commission operates with utmost professionalism and integrity to meet its objective,” the CDF added.
The Chairman of the Board of Commissioners Lt. Gen (Rtd) Joseph Kasaon thanked the CDF for his tireless effort in reviving the commission and assured the President of its growth and prosperity. “We know the history, and ours is to ensure that the main purpose of the commission is achieved the objectives set and that in future, the commission will not rely on the government for its daily operation.
Present during the event were the Cabinet Secretaries for Lands and Agriculture, Permanent secretaries for respective ministries, Special Envoy to South Sudan Kalonzo Musyoka, Transport CAS Wavinya Ndeti, Narok and Machakos Governors, VCDF, Service Commanders, General Officers, Senior Officers, KDF personnel among other invited guests.