- Lamu county chief officer for Livestock says Kenya exports Sh200 million worth of livestock to markets in the Middle East.
- In May 2021, President Kenyatta commissioned the first berth of the Lamu port.
Kenya will begin to export livestock products from Lamu port in 2023.
The national government has allocated Sh500 million for the construction of an efficient transport corridor for livestock at the port.
Lamu port, which is being built by China Communications Construction Company, can handle vessels with a capacity ranging from 12,000 to 18,000 twenty-foot equivalent units.
Lamu county chief officer for livestock Gichohi Mathenge said Kenya exports Sh200 million worth of livestock to markets in the Middle East.
He expressed confidence the numbers of livestock exports through the port will definitely go up with complete set up of the livestock export processing value chain.
Mathenge said the government had assured that the port will be ready to process livestock exports by next year.
“That will mean more revenue both to Lamu and Kenya as a country. It will also mean more job opportunities along that chain," he said.
The construction of a livestock export marshalling yard at the Lamu port is almost done and is part of a larger Sh9 billion Livestock Pre-Export Quarantine project, which is aimed at boosting exports of live animals and livestock products.
Livestock Pre-Export Quarantine is necessary as it enables the processing of livestock commodities to attain the specification as desired by traders as per the demands of the targeted consumers.
It also helps to ensure commodities meet the required animal health standards as internationally prescribed by complying with requisite certification and other disease risk reduction measures.
Speaking on Monday, Livestock Principal Secretary Hillary Kimutai said plans are underway to establish facilities at the Lamu port which will support safe transportation of livestock.
“We are talking about having facilities that will enable safe docking of ocean vessels to allow the loading of livestock using the right procedures," Kimutai said.
In May lasy year, President Uhuru Kenyatta commissioned the first berth of the Lamu port.
The PS said the marshalling yard being established at the port will be used as a quarantine facility to certify animals for export.
He said Lamu port is ideal for the international livestock trade as it is located close to major livestock breeding areas.
“It’s a deep harbour and wide channels which allow for easy navigation by large ships and other marine vessels make it ideal,” Kimutai said.
The PS further said Kenya has signed various sanitary protocols with Middle East countries to facilitate the export of livestock products.
Besides investing heavily in the export project, the PS said the government will as well invest in setting up animal laboratories in Lamu to supplement those in Mariakani and Garissa so as to enable disease control.
The intended facilities and associated livestock infrastructure in Lamu include the building of standard disease-control veterinary fences and livestock holding pens with associated gates.
Others include livestock housing and feeding troughs equipment as well as water and electricity connections.
The project is aimed at harnessing the potential of arid and semi-arid areas for which livestock production is the main source of living.
(edited by Amol Awuor)