Strategies and challenges of promoting the export of livestock and livestock products by firms in the Kenyan livestock industry: the animal health perspective

Strategies are important and can be found at all levels of the organization. All types of enterprises need business strategies to give them direction and purpose. They need strategy to deploy resources in the most effective manner as well as coordinating the stream of decisions made by different members of the organization. Without strategy an enterprise is like a ship without radar to give direction. Firms in the livestock industry operate in highly competitive niche markets. The markets at which they operate are crowded and majority of other players compete to produce and sell similar livestock and livestock products. Despite the gloomy scenario, 79.6% of exporting livestock Firms are locally owned. This indicates that they have strategies in place for their survival. The study set out to investigate the specific livestock and livestock products exports promotion strategies they use. The study also sought to investigate the challenges the livestock and livestock products export Firms encounter. The cross-sectional population survey design was used to collect data. The survey was used due to the size of the different categories of exporting Firms and need to make comparisons at same point in time. The findings found that Firms in the livestock and livestock products exports use various promotion strategies such as personal selling, internet, sales promotion, advertising and mass communication. The findings further indicate that the exporting firms operate on a challenging environment. The major challenge is the livestock disease control in Kenya. This has a strong bearing on achievements of optimal health (sanitary) standards required to promote exports. The study further found out that other Tariff and non-Tariff barriers to the livestock and livestock products export trade exist. To address non-Tariff health (sanitary) related barriers, the WTO‟s Sanitary and Phyto sanitary Measures (SPS Agreement) that came into force in January 1995 delegates this to a competent authority, the World Animal Health Organization through the respective nations‟ competent veterinary authorities. The aim here is to minimize the negative effects of unjustified health barriers to international trade (OIE terrestrial code, 2005). It would be important that policy makers come up with polices geared to achieve the required standards which is a prerequisite to effective promotion strategies. It would be important to inculcate a political good will which will anchor livestock and livestock products exports in the pro-poor policies.