Kenya banks on certification forum to boost fresh produce exports


Kenya’s earnings from horticultural exports reduced by 9.7 percent in 2022 on the back of elevated inflation in main markets amid weaker currencies. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Kenya will play host to a regional meeting aimed at boosting exports of fresh produce and creating awareness on safety, which will draw participants from across Africa.

GLOBAL GAP, the internationally recognised certification standard for farm production, has partnered with Rootooba, a Kenyan, agriculturally-based technical support provider to hold its second TOUR stop conference in Nairobi later this month.

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The event will seek to promote good agricultural practices, safe and sustainable farming, market compliance and access to national and international trade networks.

According to the horticulture regulator, only four percent of Kenya’s fresh produce — fruits and vegetables, is exported, while 96 percent is locally consumed.

The conference is aimed at addressing measures that can increase export from the current lows.

“The three-day event is also expected to steer conversations around expanding opportunities for Kenyan produce into untapped regional and global markets. Discussions at the conference will focus on major issues that are currently affecting the trade in fresh produce in both regional and global markets,” said Charity Mutegi, the project’s technical lead.

The event will also discuss changing pesticide regimes, implications of the lifting of the genetically modified organisms ban on Kenya’s fresh produce export markets, testing solutions, harmonising market standards for the benefit of producers and exporters and financing solutions.

Participants will have an opportunity to make site visits to enterprises that have complied with globally-recognised best practices in production and handling operations.

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The conference brings together an array of industry leaders that includes development partners led by USAid implementing partners, sector associations, the Agrochemicals Association of Kenya, Avocado Exporters Association of Kenya, Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organisation, Agriculture and Food Authority, producers, and a wide range of private sector players.

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