Kenya intends to use new Lamu Port to export livestock after resuming livestock exports to Oman after 16-year ban.
The new facility seeks to reap from the trade as it is closer to the key animal production areas in the Northeast part of the country.
Agriculture PS Harry Kimtai said the main port of Mombasa does not have the facilities to cater for the export of live animals.
The first phase of Sh40 billion Lamu port is complete with special areas to handle different products. On Monday, the first batch of more than 40,000 heads of livestock worth more than Sh200 million have already left for Oman.
A ship carrying more than 14,000 goats and sheep from different livestock keeping zones left Mombasa port to Salalah Port, Oman as two countries agree to boost livestock trade in the coming years.
Sheikh Mohammed Dor, Kenya's Ambassador to Oman said Oman has assured Kenya that there is potential to export more than 500,000 heads annually as the market is guaranteed.
Sheikh Dor said Kenya will be exporting livestock every month to the country and Gulf region.
“Today we resume exporting livestock to Oman and this is a wonderful business opportunity apart from the on-going vibrant exports of Kenyan horticulture, floriculture among other products,” said the ambassador.
Speaking while witnessing loading of the livestock, Sheikh Dor said the resumption of livestock export was due to measures put in place by the Kenyan government to ensure the livestock are free from diseases.
“The economic bluerpints of the two countries; Kenya’s Vision 2030 and Oman’s 2040 Big Four Agenda have placed food security as a top agenda,” said Sheikh Dor.
Oman’s meat commissions department CEO Dr Al Saidi said his team will cooperate with local suppliers to ensure there’s steady supply of livestock.
“Oman is a food hub of Gulf region. This opportunity of livestock export is providing a win-win trading environment for both Kenya and Oman,” said Dr Saidi.
Kenyan government is working with two local suppliers, Zuridi Africa and Najib's Livestock International, to collect animals across the country for export. Livestock sector has previously been handicapped, owing to the rampant cases of foot and mouth diseases.