Kenya Markets Trust (KMT) has signed an MoU with the Kenya Utalii College (KUC) to help the training institution to develop a meat processing curriculum. This is geared towards bridging the skills gap in the meat processing industry.
Kenya has a population of over 45 million livestock with pastoral production system accounting for over 75%. This contributes to 42% of Agricultural Gross Domestic Product (AGDP), and 12% of National GDP anchoring support to over 10 million Kenyans (25% of Kenya’s human population). The sub sector employment supports 48% of agricultural labor force. This could change with the new skill set aimed at spurring livestock processing and retail industry through enterprising differentiated markets.
Meat at Neema Slaughter House in Baba Ndogo, Nairobi
However, despite the evident importance of the Livestock Sector to the country’s income, Livestock Product Processing Industry has been hindered by inadequate technical professional processing skills. The largely informal industry (96% of the industry is informal) has inefficiencies associated with lack of preservation of the highly perishable cold meat. The industry is known to be among those with the least value addition and product differentiation at the end market- at the consumer end, meat is just meat! There is little knowledge of different types of meat which are based on the end use, for example, rib and eye, sirloin, rump steak, etc. used for barbecue, boiled meat or stew.
KUC is distinguished for providing world-class training for both the local and international hospitality and tourism industry. Among the strategies put in place to achieve this is collaboration with other reputable training institutions, both locally and internationally, to help it deliver its mandate of Training and Capacity Building, Research and Consultancy for the Hospitality and Tourism Industry.
In order to meet the ever-growing demand for training, especially for those already in employment, the College is gearing up to start new programmes. One of the proposed courses in the pipeline is the Meat Professional Processing Skills, which will be offered in conjunction with KMT.
KMT CEO, Mr. Paul Wanyagah (left) and KUC Ag. Principal, Mr. Kazungu Mwangu during the KMT/KUC MoU signing
The course is geared towards bringing in more revenue per unit livestock for the country, due to further value addition and differentiation of meat and meat products. It will help the industry address the perishability of meat, with shift from hot to cold chain. This shift is critical since it is not possible to value add and differentiate hot meat. It will trigger a reliable demand of livestock from pastoralists.
KMT and KUC partnership will create jobs as the training will see processors employ newly trained processing professionals to improve their productivity. The trainees will also get capital to venture into self-employment, with value addition skills key in opening up these businesses.
KUC is an affiliate member of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). Some of the college courses have acquired accreditation by the Tourism Education Quality (TEDQUAL) certification body. KUC is the Secretariat for Africa’s only Association of Hospitality and Tourism Schools (AHTSA) which has a membership of more than 27 hospitality and tourism schools drawn from over 15 countries. In addition, it is an East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) accredited Center of Excellence in Hospitality and Tourism training.