Kenya is set to export 40 to 50 tonnes of sheep and meat per day to Iran with an estimated export value of USD 6 million (KES 773.9 million) per month.
This follows a trade talk between Kenya’s Foreign and Diaspora Affairs Cabinet Secretary Alfred Mutua and Dr. Jafar Barmaki, the Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Nairobi on Wednesday this week.
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“This new trade deal will boost Kenya’s economy and create more opportunities for farmers and traders,” said Mutua lauding the Iran House of Innovation and Technology (IHIT) Centre for helping Kenyan startups.
The meeting centred on trade, development, and cooperation between Kenya and Iran also opened ways for the country (Kenya) to also export 10,000 tonnes of onions to Iran in addition to tea.
In this, Dr. Mutua noted that his ministry would cut the red tape that caused the government of Iran to withdraw Ksh40 million meant for nanotechnology research in Kenyan universities.
In 2011, Kenya Meat Commission (KMC), state-owned meat processor had signed a deal with Iranian government officials to export 1,000 metric tonnes per month
The new trade deal came on the back of far-reaching sanctions on Iran by the United States and European Union Member States.
Statistics from the Kenyan ivestock ministry indicate that more than two-thirds of red meat is produced in the arid and semi-arid lands where pastoralists keep about 70 per cent of the country’s livestock herds, estimated at about 9.7 million beef cattle, 9.6 million goats, 8.3 million sheep and 800,000 camels.
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So far, Kenya has lost at least 2.6 million livestock in the past five months to the ongoing drought and the Kenya Meteorological Department has warned of below-normal rainfall is expected in the arid and semi-arid lands something that might worsen the situation.
For example, in Marsabit County, the communities have lost more than 121,000 sheep and goats, 35,000 camels and 38,000 cattle in the last few months.
It follows therefore that the deal will be of much help to the pastoral communities in Kenya who are much affected by the ongoing drought.
“We welcome the efforts made by the government to help us find market for our livestock in this great hour of need. We hope the opportunity will go a long way to help us sell our animals throughout the year all year round,” said John Eyaku, Marsabit nomadic farmer.
Kenya export to Iran
Generally Kenya Exports to Iran was US$19.83 Million during 2021 and $15.3M in 2020, according to the United Nations COMTRADE database on international trade.
The main products exported from Kenya to Iran were Tea ($15M), Coffee ($166k), and Jute and Other Textile Fibers ($47.3k).
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During the last 23 years the exports of Kenya to Iran have increased at an annualized rate of 0.69%, from $13M in 1997 to $15.3M in 2020.