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Wagyu: Rare beef retailing at KSh 20k per kilo in Nairobi

In recent days, a photo of a kilogram of meat retailing at KSh 20,000 has been doing rounds on social media with most netizens wondering why the meat costs that much. has learnt that the meat, Wagyu beef is a rare kind that originated from Japan.

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The term Wagyu means ‘Japanese cow’ and has for years been ranked the most expensive beef in the world.

A Wagyu cow can cost as much as KSh 3 million per head.

Wagyu refers to four main breeds -Kuroge, Akage, Nihon Tankakon and Mukaku, which are bred for physical endurance.

Wagyu has intramuscular fat cells distributed evenly throughout their muscle which makes it very tender.

The beef contain the highest amount of CLA per gram of any foodstuff – about 30% more than other beef breeds – due to higher linoleic acid levels.

The steak is only sold in high-end butcheries in the country and a kilogram goes for KSh 20,000 while 300 grams go for KSh 7,800.

The piece of steak is graded on how much meat can be yielded from the cow and the quantity of marbling, the more the marble score, the more the flavour and the more the expense.

Wagyu cows are oftenly raised by the breeder until they are 10 months old when they are sold to a fattening farm.

In the fattening farm, the cows are kept in small farms and fed high energy concentrate like rice, wheat and hay, until they are 50% fat.

The foods fed to the animals are said to be very expensive, prompting to the high selling prices.

It was also noted that the Japanese government has tight regulations on the production of Wagyu to maintain its quality and exclusiveness to the Asian nation.

It is not allowed to leave Japan and the only breeds available outside of Japan were allowed out by a mistake in the early 80s.

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At the time, six cows were led out to the US and when the female, thought to be infertile, got pregnant, the genetics were bought and taken to Australia.

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