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Agricultural News

Two OSU-FAPC Staff Assist African Meat Processing Facilities With Production

Fri, 20 Apr 2012 17:21:10 CDT

Two OSU-FAPC Staff Assist African Meat Processing Facilities With Production
Two Oklahoma State University Robert M. Kerr Food & Agricultural Products Center faculty and staff members returned recently from an international agricultural volunteer assignment in Nairobi, Kenya.

Dr. Tim Bowser, FAPC food process engineer and OSU biosystems and agricultural engineering associate professor, and Kyle Flynn, FAPC meat pilot plant manager, ventured to the African country to evaluate meat processing techniques and harvest facility efficiencies through CNFA's Farmer-to-Farmer program.

"Dr. Bowser and I enjoyed the opportunity to voluntarily assist Kenyans with their meat processing needs," Flynn said. "Through this volunteer assignment, we were able to share processing practices and plant engineering designs implemented at our facility, the FAPC, and the United States."

The duo provided support to the Kenya Meat Commission, a dominant revenue generator in the country.

"The Kenya Meat Commission is the single biggest and most modern licensed export abattoir in East, Central and Horn of Africa," Bowser said. "Its vision is to be the preferred world-class meat and meat products processor."

The Commission operates two meat harvesting, processing and by-product facilities. Both facilities were fully renovated in the 1960s but remain largely unchanged from the renovation more than 50 years ago.

"The Kenya Meat Commission has been a manufacturing-led company for most of its existence, and appears to be seeking a change," said Bob Bond, Farmer-to-Farmer volunteer and marketing specialist, in a prior 2012 visit to the facilities.

During the international volunteer assignment, Bowser and Flynn visited the Athi River and Mombasa meat-processing plants and performed a thorough evaluation of each facility.

"We evaluated the operations and their capacity for processing livestock," Bowser said. "We found that both Kenya Meat Commission plants have skilled labor, experienced operations personnel and a wide range of administrative support. The plants are clean and produce quality products that are consistent with inputs, facilities and equipment. However, we also determined that deficiencies in basic utility input and waste output streams must be addressed."

Bowser and Flynn's recommendations to the Kenya Meat Commission are being used to bring current machinery and practices up to modern livestock slaughtering and meat processing standards.

"Through suggested improvements, the Kenya Meat Commission will be on the path to achieving its mission of procuring livestock, processing and marketing high quality meat and meat products at competitive prices using efficient, effective and environmentally friendly systems to the satisfaction of customers and other stakeholders," Bowser said.

With return to the university campus, Bowser and Flynn have joined the ranks of more than 1,300 volunteers who have traveled internationally with CNFA's Farmer-to-Farmer program to help farmers and agribusinesses increase their incomes and well-being.

Interested in volunteering or knowing more about CNFA's Farmer-to-Farmer program? Visit www.cnfa.org, email farmertofarmer@cnfa.org or call 1-888-872-2631.



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