Meat secrets that will earn you money

KenMeat stall during the 2023 Expo

KenMeat stall during the Expo at Kenyatta International Convention Centre in Nairobi on May 5.

Photo credit: Kennedy Amungo | Nation Media Group

The second edition the Kenya Meat Expo and Conference at Kenyatta International Convention Centre, Nairobi, last week showed livestock and meat are hidden treasures. If unlocked, they can place Kenya at the top of the world meat value chain.

The theme of the expo was “Promoting Resilience in the Meat Industry Through Investment and Innovation for Job Creation and Economic Growth”.

The expo, attended by thousands, attracted more than 70 local and international exhibitors.

Reiterating the commitment of the government in improving the meat industry, Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Co-operatives Cabinet Secretary Mithika Linturi urged local farmers to adopt modern technology and innovations, especially when it comes to processing.

The minister said farmers should take advantage of value-added products as Kenya’s population grows.

Many exhibitors showed that processing meat can be very profitable.

The expo provided farmers, meat consumers, suppliers, marketers, processors and other players in the industry a forum to network and interact.

Processed camel meat

Tawakal Cooperative Society, Isiolo, showcased camel meat products.

Known as “Nyirinyiri” in Isiolo and neighbouring regions, it is a ready-to-eat camel processed and packaged meat. Kevin Omondi Miruye, the co-op manager, said the meat is defatted, chopped, deep fried and packed.

“There are three types of packages – vacuum, under oil and normal,” Miruye said.

Established in 2010 as a knitting table banking group for women, the society soon discovered treasure in camel products.

“The group was registered in 2015 as a cooperative and later diversified into camel products,” he said, adding that it has 110 members, with 75 being active.

“A kilo of raw meat goes for Sh750 but when value-added, it fetches Sh1,200,” Miruye said.

Other products from the cooperative are vanilla, strawberry and chocolate yoghurt.

Tawakal also sells pasteurised and raw milk, working with 40 pastoralists.


Operating with 800–1,000 farmers in Kenya, KenMeat specialises in prime cuts. Started seven years ago, it has a market in the Middle East, Somalia, Sudan and several African nations.

The cuts the Athi River-based firm deals in are sirloin chuck, rib, sirloin steak, ram steak, briskets, shanks, flank, leg, breast and shoulder.

Sales and Marketing head, Caroline Itotia, said KenMeat has an abattoir that slaughters an average of 7,000 sheep and goats daily. For cattle, the number is 200 to 300.

“The demand for processed meat is high. We even import animals to fill the gap,” Itotia said.

Processed products include ready-to-eat and raw sausages, mutura, beef Vienna, burgers and meatballs.

“We make 50 to 60 products,” Itotia said, adding that value-added products are supplied to supermarkets.

“Due to the rising demand of meat products, we are soon establishing feedlots. We will contract farmers to rear animals,” she said.

Daiichi Farm Ltd

The Meru County-based farm rears pigs. Sales chief, Philip Ndeng’era, said it was established in 2014.

“It began as a pig farm and advanced to processing pork products when Covid-19 hit Kenya in 2020,” Ndeng’era said.

“We do premium sausages, motomoto sausages and mwananchi pork sausages.”

He added that Daiichi Farm also makes beef sausages and bacon. It is also known for prime cuts like leg, loin chops and ribs.

mencken indent: “Pig products have a lucrative market compared to live animals. We have created jobs along the value chain – from the butcher, sausage maker and production,” he said, adding that the farm has about 1,500 hogs.

Ruai Kikopey Choma Zone

John Njuguna Kimani, the owner of Ruai Meat Joint on Kangundo Road, said the secret of profit in the meat sector lies in processing.

Njuguna roasts, stews, broils (adding spices and potatoes) goat meat, pork, chicken and fish. The joint also sells raw meat.

“A kilogramme of raw meat retails for Sh700 but can be as high as Sh900 when cooked,” he said.

Njuguna has specialised in prime cuts like neck, shoulder, loin, leg, flank and shank.

He sources meat from Thika, Kiamaiko and Kiserian. His greatest challenge is frequent power outages, resulting in loss of stock.

Nema Livestock and Slaughtering Investment Ltd

Founded in 2015, the Ruaraka-based company exports 70 per cent of its mutton to the Gulf.

“The remaining 30 per cent is for local markets,” Operations Manager, Francis Waweru, said.

Also specialising in prime cuts, Nema Livestock has been supplying meat to State House for four years.

Other markets are schools, hospitals, restaurants and hotels.

It slaughters animals and chills the meat. Some is deboned. The firm has contracted audited suppliers, who source cattle, sheep and goats from northeastern Kenya and the Rift Valley.

“The animal must be disease-free, fat enough, meaty and appealing to the eye,” he said, adding that the company has vets and meat inspectors.

“Let stakeholders look into animal production. We breed livestock, fatten and do proper finishing to get good quality meat,” Waweru said.

The expo was organised by the State Department for Livestock Development, in partnership with strategic stakeholders from the private and public sectors, including Nation Media Group (NMG), the main sponsor.

Others were Kenya Export Promotion and Branding Agency, Kenya Meat and Livestock Exporters Industry Council, Retail Trade Association of Kenya, United States Agency for International Development, Gatsby Africa and the Kenya Meat Commission.

Livestock Principal Secretary, Harry Kimtai, urged Kenyans to start looking at animals as a sector to invest in, especially as the human population is projected to hit the nine billion mark in about 25 years.

“Soon, the livestock industry will be one of the most coveted,” the PS said, adding that the Ministry of Agriculture is committed to making the meat expo and conference an annual event.

In an interview with Seeds of Gold, Retrak Chief Executive Officer Wambui Mbarire called on livestock and meat stakeholders to adopt modern technology, adding that there are countless opportunities that remain untapped.

“It is time butchers and consumers realise the importance of prime cuts in meat and innovations that allow the surplus meat to be processed into something more valuable,” she said.

She added that the players need to adopt advanced machines – battery and electricity operated weighing scales, biodegradable packaging materials, cold storage and transport systems and cold chain rooms and fridge for sustainability.

“Apart from meat processing, there is the skin and leather industry. This also calls for more innovation and technology to realise the dreams of the industry,” she said.

The United Nations estimates that 1.3 billion people depend on livestock for livelihood across the world.

The State Department for Livestock Development says Kenya lost about 2.5 million cattle to drought before the onset of the ongoing rains in March.

They say the animals lost are estimated to have been valued at Sh244.2 billion.

Experts say the drought, the worst in 40 years, was occasioned climate change.