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Twiga to boost food safety drive with Sh1bn support from IFC

 Jumoke Jagun-Dokunmu
L-R: International Finance Corporation (IFC) regional director Eastern Africa Jumoke Jagun-Dokunmu and Twiga Foods CEO Peter Njonjo during agreement signing between IFC and Twiga Foods at the IFC's offices on June 3, 2019. PHOTO | DIANA NGILA | NMG 

Twiga Foods, a Kenyan-based technology food distribution platform, has moved to the frontline of Kenya’s food safety campaign with a commitment to oversee operations of the entire value chain.

Under a Sh1 billion ($10m) deal with International Finance Corporation (IFC), the World Bank’s private sector lending arm on Monday, Twiga Foods will ensure food is handled to global standards, from farm to retail outlet.

The deal will see IFC train Twiga’s staff on internationally-accepted practices and advise the company on food safety and quality management systems in its produce handling facilities.

The trained staff are supposed to take their skills to food handlers starting with 12 farmers and this will be scaled gradually to 5,000 before all farmers in its network are covered by 2021.

“Safety is an important consideration in our mission to provide affordable, quality, and safe food to Kenya's urban consumers, and reliable markets for farmers,” said Twiga chief executive Peter Njonjo

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Twiga is already using mobile phone technology to connect smallholder farmers in rural areas to informal retail vendors in cities. Under the new agreement, all value chain players – farmers, processors and vendors – will be trained to apply global quality certification to products destined for the domestic market.

“An important component of this deal is the transfer knowledge gained from other economies such as Zambia, Uganda and Zambia where IFC has similar initiatives,” said IFC regional director for Eastern Africa Jumoke Jagun-Dokunmu.

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