The government will privatise the cash strapped Kenya Meat Commission (KMC) to allow the parastatal become viable and thrive.
The Agriculture Cabinet Secretary (CS), Mwangi Kiunjuri said that the government had reached a decision to privatise the limping parastatal to revive farmers’ faith in the organisation as well as revamp its competitiveness.
Kiunjuri said a private investor to be identified after the due process is followed in full compliance of law will be able to address KMC viability by injecting the much needed expertise as well as funding of the commission.
The CS stated that the two major KMC plants in Nairobi and Mombasa will be treated as two separate entities and a decision arrived at on the road map for their revival.
Kiunjuri spoke on Wednesday during a media briefing at Kilimo House Nairobi where he stated categorically that there is no ambiguity about the fate of KMC, but emphasised it must be privatised for it to regain its lost glory.
He stated that the government will soon form a taskforce to look at the logistics behind the privatisation of the commission that was reopened in 2006 but has since faced financial difficulties hence the dismal performance.
“As government we do not do business. We simply aid organisations to be able to perform optimally and deliver to Kenyans and beyond,” said Kiunjuri who further added that the commission needs to make money to make it operational and beneficial
According to the Privatisation Commission, the state is seeking transaction advisors for the privatisation of the state-run meat commission so as to make it more competitive.
The KMC has grappled with poor performance since 1960s because of issues ranging from political interference, obsolete machinery and loss of the European markets due to poor quality meat arising from animal diseases.
The unreliable supply of raw materials and frequent breakdown of plants slowed down KMC’s efficiency making it operate at a loss, with the commission owing farmers millions of monies to the tune of over Sh. 200 million.
Last year, treasury had reduced the Sh. 500 million allocation to the commission for machinery repair, as it skimmed development expenditure to implement austerity measures.
With over 66 years of operations under its belt, KMC has been struggling and has lost its market share to private slaughter houses in the Region, as European Markets withdrew due to quality of production as a result of animal diseases.
By Alice Gworo