The government has denied claims that it blocked the launch of donkey meat abattoirs worth Sh400 million in Naivasha and Baringo.
Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries Principal Secretary Mr Andrew Tuimur said the projects will be approved by May after being thoroughly inspected.
The Naivasha abattoir is worth Sh30 million and is owned by Mr Samuel Kariuki while the Baringo plant, which is worth Sh350 million was built by Chinese-owned Goldox Kenya. Although the abattoirs have been completed, they have not been approved by the government.
Goldox Kenya Ltd director-founder Mr Lu Jing has accused the government of dragging its feet in licensing the abattoirs even after adhering to all the rules in setting up the project.
He said the government inspected his buildings' drawings and provided a building inspector on site who supervised all construction work every step of the way.
CLEARED AT ALL STAGES
"Environmental Impact Assessment audit was cleared at all stages, licence fees paid that allowed its construction but the final operating licence is missing. Why did they allow me to sink money in a project that is now illegal?" posed Mr Jing who smelled a business opportunity when he first visited Baringo as a tourist.
Mr Tuimur who has toured the facilities however said the government supports the donkey abattoirs as they will provide a new source of income for livestock keepers in addition to other benefits to the surrounding communities.
'Setting up of the slaughterhouses was done with our approval and upon all checks have been done by the public health and veterinary departments.
We shall regularly check on quality of products to ensure only quality donkey meat reaches the Asian markets where it is a popular delicacy," he said.
The PS said measures will be taken to ensure that all the donkey meat is exported as Kenyan communities, apart from the Turkana, do not eat donkey meat.
Kenya Livestock Markets Council Chairman Dubat Ali urged the government to provide more support to the agriculture sector adding that stringent policies and regulations are hurting investments in the industry.
Mr Jing said no donkey meat will be sold in the local market. 'We have identified the markets and our partners are ready to receive our products in China. But two years after nothing has come out of the factory which had also 150 recruited locals to work at various sections but are yet to take up their positions," he said.
Similar sentiments have been expressed at the Naivasha slaughterhouse based at Maraigushu which had recruited 30 locals but is yet to take off.