What’s your pick? Beef burgers or meat balls, minced meat or sirloin steak, ossobuco or boneless cubes?
And do you love your meat fried or grilled, broiled or roasted, smoked or marinated?
These are some of raw and cooked meat products you will find at the inaugural Meat Expo that will be held from November 18-19 at the Kenyatta International Convention Center (KICC) courtyard in Nairobi.
The event is organised by the Nation Media Group (NMG) and its partners namely the State Department for Livestock, Kenya Markets Trust, Retail Traders Association of Kenya, Kenya Meat Commission, Livestock Exporters Council of Kenya and Kenya Meat Institute.
The expo, whose theme is “Safe and quality meat for nutrition, health and wealth creation” promises a sizzling experience for livestock keepers, traders, transporters, producers and meat lovers, among others .
Harry Kimtai, the Livestock PS, said the expo, which is the first to be held in the country, comes at an opportune time to help unlock the sector that supports the livelihoods of more than 10 million pastoralists.
“The livestock sector contributes about 12 per cent to the gross domestic product annually. However, this contribution is being affected by frequent droughts and floods due to climate change creating despondency among producers and other people in the sector. But by hosting the expo, we want people to see the opportunities in meat,” he said.
Kimtai observed that for the industry to grow, meat safety must be taken seriously to ensure that what comes from the farm finds its way to the plate while still in good quality. “This expo will showcase meat safety practices that all stakeholders should strive to uphold for the growth of the industry,” he said.
NMG chief executive officer Stephen Gitagama said over 12 million Kenyans depend on the meat sector for livelihoods, making it one of the critical industries of the economy.
“However, the main challenge of the sector is that it is largely unstructured thus there is need to bring everyone together to create linkages. This is what the expo is going to achieve by bringing together the government and private sector to showcase how we can create wealth from meat,” he said.
According to him, the Meat Expo will help market the industry; boost development, growth and visibility; showcase the latest technology, products and services in the industry that retailers need to increase their profits and offer the first-ever complete education and networking experience.
For consumers, there will be live meat cooking, a taste experience zone and consumer education on preparations of different delicacies.
Brig James Githaga, the managing commissioner, Kenya Meat Commission, said the expo will help to synergise the industry, what will in turn deepen awareness on meat production, trade and consumption leading to employment creation.
Prof Erastus Kangethe, an expert in food safety, said Kenya losses up to Sh1 billion annually due to post-harvest meat losses, which need to stop through awareness and education.
Kimtai announced that the Meat Expo will become an annual event to enhance awareness and create opportunities and linkages in the sector.