Beef

Kenya has an estimated population of 14 million beef cattle from which beef and beef products are produced. The beef industry is one of fastest rising economic sectors within the agricultural sector driven by growth of beef exports and the increases in population, urbanization and household income. The beef cattle kept in the country include zebu, Sahiwal and Boran which are mainly found in the arid and semi-arid lands (ASALS). The culls from the beef herd contribute about 30% to the beef industry. The main types of inputs in beef production includes; Beef herd, feeds, water, vaccines, drugs and machinery and equipment such as weighing band, de-horning equipment, branding bar, livestock pens (lairage) etc.

There are different systems of beef farming that are practiced in Kenya, these includes:-

• Nomadic Pastoralism

• Ranching

• Agro-pastoralism

• Feedlot system

There are several ranches, groups and co-operative enterprises that are involved in beef production and marketing and they are spread all over the country. There are many value added beef products and the methods for processing differ from one product to the other. Some of the main beef products include fresh meat, processed products such as sausages and meat balls. This may involves high investment in slaughter houses, specialized equipment and development of skills in processing. Some of the by-products of beef include manure, bones, blood, hooves and horns, skins.

The marketing of beef products is a major economic enterprise that engages many businessmen in the country. In Kenya, livestock marketing is largely in the hands of the private sector, with the government only offering regulatory and facilitation services. Among the EAC Partner States, Kenya has taken advantage of the high beef prices on the world market and opened up export markets in the Middle East.

In 2011, Kenyan beef processors exported 15,000 tons of beef to Middle East. There is also some insignificant intra-regional meat trade, with Kenya being in the leading position followed by Uganda and Tanzania. There is a huge market for beef in the local market as many Kenyans like their delicacy of Nyama Choma. There are other opportunities for global trade in meat and meat products: Global market for fresh meat and fish is $640 billion17 and growing. Potential markets for EAC meat include Middle East markets (UAE, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia), North Africa (Sudan, Egypt (10 tones/week.).

At regional level the growing number of supermarkets is a good outlet for high quality meat, the neighbouring countries of Sudan, Gabon, Democratic Republic of Congo and Somalia, but one needs to get more market requirements and regulations. Meat is produced by beef farmers through grazing of animals in the fields. There are many policies that affect the beef value chain in Kenya to ensure for effective operation of the sub-sector. The service providers of beef farming includes the veterinary, animal breeding, research and extension and animal identification agencies.

Beef full pdf...

Beef Inputs

The main types of inputs in beef production includes; Beef herd, feeds, water, vaccines, drugs and machinery and equipment such as weighing band, de-horning equipment, branding bar, livestock pens (lairage)etc.

Beef herd

The beef herd need to be of high quality. This is achieved through having the right breeds and proper management.

Feeds

Beef cattle feeds should be balanced to contain the major nutrients necessary for the body to function normally. These feeds include the natural forage, energy feeds, mineral and vitamin supplements.

Water

Adequate Clean water should be provided to the beef animal at all times.

Vaccines

Its important to ensure the beef cattle receives routine vaccinations.  This is the obligation of the farmer to avail his animals for vaccination when called upon by the Ministry personnel.

Drugs

In beef production disease control is paramount as diseases contribute significantly to low productivity.  Reduced disease incidences therefore contribute to improved productivity and profitability in beef production. There are drugs to treat various cattle diseases in the market.  

The most commonly used machinery and equipment include weighing band, de horning equipment, branding bar, carcass chiller.

 

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Beef production in Kenya is carried out in different production systems. A production system is a form of management approach, which is adopted to suit a climatic situation and to achieve a given objective. There are four main production systems practiced in Kenya, including , Nomadic Pastoralism, Ranching, Agro-pastoralism and Feedlot system. 
Animal diseases and pests contribute significantly to low productivity of farm animals and impact negatively on both local and international livestock trade. The most important notifiable diseases in Kenya are Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD), Anthrax, Contagious Bovine Pleuropneumonia (CBPP), Rabies, Lumpy Skin disease, Contagious Caprine Pleuropneumonia (CCPP), East Coast Fever, Rift Valley Fever and Trypanosomiasis. 

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There are several ranches, groups and cooperative enterprises involved in beef production. There are many value added beef products with different value addition  methods.The main products  from beef production  include fresh meat and processed products such as sausages, meat balls and skins and hides. 

This involves high investment in slaughter houses, specialized equipment and development of skills in processing.  Some of the byproducts of beef production include manure, milk, bones, blood, hooves and horns, 

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The marketing of beef animals and products are a major economic enterprises that engages many businessmen in the country. In Kenya, livestock marketing is largely in the hands of the private sector, with the government only offering regulatory and facilitation services. Among the EAC Partner States, Kenya has taken advantage of the high beef prices on the world market and opened up export markets in the Middle East. In 2011, Kenyan beef processors exported 15,000 tons of beef to Middle East. There is also some insignificant intra-regional meat trade, with Kenya in the lead position, followed by Uganda and Tanzania. There is a huge market for beef in the local market as many Kenyans like their delicacy of nyama choma.

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Offtake of beef.

Livestock off-take is the percentage of the herd that is removed through sales, deaths, gifts, home-slaughters or theft.This is an important measure of herd dynamics and therefore a means for estimating output from a pastoral production unit. Although non-commercial transactions contribute significantly to the total livestock off-take in a traditional pastoral household, commercial livestock off-take, i.e., animal units that leave the herd for cash sales, form the main form of pastoral off-take today.Commercial livestock off-take has increasingly become important with the breakdown of traditional drought coping strategies as pastoralism slowly evolves from solely subsistence to a commercial economy, and as the frequency and severity of droughts increase. Besides political insecurity, drought is the most detrimental disaster distressing African pastoralists.

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There are many policies that affect the beef value chain and these include:

National livestock policy, Legal framework for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI)
Legal & Regulatory Framework –

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 The main services rendered to beef producers are veterinary, animal breeding, research and extension, and animal identification services. There is a potential for the financial sector to participate in the beef value chain by providing banking services, credit and insurance. 
The service providers includes

Ministry of Agriculture Livestock and Fisheries,

Kenya Bureau of Standard,

Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Services (KEPHIS) ,

Ministry of Industrialisation and Entreprise Development

Public and private universities ,Credit providers ,Development partners, NGOs, Kenya meat commission among others.

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