As George Orwell once said, “If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face – forever.”
In 1973, a group of livestock farmers in Nairobi’s Kiamaiko area came together, bound by the same vision. The vision of one day owning a multi-million abattoir and expanding their livestock business overseas.
The number of farmers grew to 3,000 over the years. Slowly but sure, they started raising KSh300 million to put up the ultra-modern facility.
Kiamaiko farmers’ dream come true
On Wednesday, May 26, that dream was finally realised. President Uhuru Kenyatta had the privilege to officially open the Neema abattoir in Lucky Summer, Ruaraka Constituency.
The slaughterhouse has an installed daily slaughter capacity of 12,000 and 6,000 small stock (goats/sheep) for local and export markets respectively. Over 85 percent of their products are sold overseas.
The President said his administration will continue sourcing for new markets and expanding existing ones so as to enable farmers to sell their livestock at good prices.
This event comes just days after President Uhuru presided over the re-opening of the Kenya Meat Commission. He says this is part of a long-term plan by the Government to cushion livestock farmers from exploitative middlemen.
The Head of State applauded owners of Neema abbatoir led by Mr Mohammed Bonaya for the consistency and determination that has seen their business expand and provide jobs to many young Kenyans.
“You started small in 1973 here in Kiamaiko and you have been consistent. Today together as 3,000 members you raised Kshs 300 million to put up this huge investment. This is not an easy job and I congratulate you Mr Chairman together with your members,” the President said.
He encouraged Neema to take advantage of the new Lamu Port and set up a similar meat processor in the area for the export market.
“I am happy because you have demonstrated that you have the capability to put up an investment like this. What you need from us is water, electricity and roads which I assure you will be done by my Government,” the President said.
He told Kenyan farmers that the Government will extend the reforms being rolled out in the tea and coffee sectors to cover other areas among them livestock and maize farming so as to make agriculture a lucrative economic activity.
“Already due to the reforms we have undertaken in the coffee and tea sectors, our cash crop farmers are now getting good money,” the President said, adding that the Government will continue setting abbatoir across the country to ensure livestock have ready markets for their animals.
“As a government we will be putting up slaughter houses in various places and I know together with those being put up by private investors, farmers will not fail to get good prices,” he said.