Kenya is yet to start the export of meat to Saudi Arabia despite the gulf nation lifting the ban on livestock imports from Kenya in 2016.
Meat and Livestock Exporters Industry Council of Kenya says Kenya has an export quota of 2.5 million goats to the middle east nation during the annual Hajj pilgrimage but has never delivered any consignment due to food safety concerns leading to loss of business opportunity with the oil rich kingdom.
In 2019 Kenya exported livestock products worth Kshs 7 billion mainly to Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.
This year the export figures are expected to hit Kshs 8 billion due to low production in key markets of Australia and New Zealand owed to lock downs occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Despite this, Kenya is still expected to lose the key gulf market due to noncompliance of international standards on meat certification.
Coupled with ban on cultivation of fodder in Qatar and Saudi Arabia due to depletion of aquifers, players in the sector say this presents Kenya with a wide market for livestock products
The Kenya Markets Trust is calling for strengthening of the livestock value chain including creation of modalities to create traceability systems to ensure the country produces high quality meat that can fetch market prices.