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Ministry Stops Buying Cattle

05 October 2009

KENYA - The Kenya Meat Commission (KMC) has suspended the off-take scheme aimed at buying cattle and slaughtering them at the buying centres after the ministry of Livestock Development ran out of cash.

The minister, Dr Mohammed Kuti, confirmed the suspension of the programme, saying the Treasury was yet to release Sh200 million to finance it reports The Daily Nation.

He also disclosed that the slaughter of animals at the point of purchase had also been suspended until further notice. The suspension of the two programmes comes amid accusations from livestock owners that the scheme had been hijacked by middlemen who were exploiting them by buying their animals for as little as Sh500 while they sold the same for Sh8,000 to KMC.

The Permanent secretary in the ministry, Kenneth Lusaka, spent the better part of last week shuttling between Kilimo House and Treasury in a bid to unlock the Sh200 million. By Friday evening, the money was yet to be released.

The Daily Nation says that while Mr Lusaka maintained that the offtake scheme was still on but was being staggered to decongest the holding ground in Athi River, the minister said the exercise was facing financial hiccups. “Buying has been stopped, and the ministry is awaiting funds from the Treasury,” Dr Kuti said.

The scheme, which was launched last month to support livestock farmers who were losing their animals due to the prolonged drought, ran into logistical problems after an estimated 600 cattle died at the KMC holding ground in Athi River.

TheCattleSite News Desk



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