Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


Kenya seeks to improve quality of agri produce

NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 5 – Experts from various regional government agencies involved in regulating plant quality standards began an intensive month-long workshop, on Monday, to build the phyto-sanitary capacity in the region.

Hosted by the Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (KEPHIS) the workshop will also focus on boosting regional trade by improving the quality of exported agricultural products.

Although Kenya’s Sanitary and Phyto-Sanitary (SPS) standards have remained high within the region, KEPHIS Managing Director James Onsando said regional food safety standards still continue to fall short of international standards like Codex or International Standards on Phyto-Sanitary Measures (ISPMs).

“There is no way you can do trade in fresh produce and agricultural produce if you do not meet phyto-sanitary international standards and that’s why this course is so important for the region where capacity is slightly lower than in Kenya. It is in our interest as Kenya that our neighbors have the capacity,” he said.

With Kenya as the world’s leading tea and horticulture exporter, Dr Onsando said such a forum would enable the country to protect its competitive position in export markets.

The value of Kenya’s horticultural exports in 2009 was recorded at Sh71.60 billion, with flowers accounting for 52 percent of the shilling value of exports in the same year.

Also speaking during the launch, Agriculture Secretary Dr Wilson Songa stressed the need for inter-regional cooperation to promote harmonised SPS measures.

“Just integrating is not enough. How much we shall trade among ourselves will depend on the mechanisms we have put in place to make that trade safe. So it is very important that we acquaint ourselves with all the new requirements of the various markets,” he said.

Also Read:  Kenyans urged to explore alternative food crops

Harmonised standards within the region, he added, will protect consumers and provide clear guidelines for producers to meet.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

As the current drought continues to plague the Horn of Africa, he said opening regional trade to free movement of staple foods would allow countries to take advantage of regional diversity and different harvest periods to move crops from surplus to deficit areas.

In the last century 233 new pests were recorded to have been introduced into the African market, with 66 of these being insects and mites and 167 new plant diseases, posing a major threat to the Agriculture sector.

Globally, pests and diseases reduce crop production by up to 30 to 40 percent.

The course that is sponsored by USAID will train participants on accurate pest identification, regional policy issues and consistent enforcement of standards.

Click to comment

More on Capital Business

Executive Lifestyle

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 12 – The country’s super wealthy individuals are increasing their holding of bonds, gold and cash, a new report by Knight...

Ask Kirubi

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 9 – Businessman and industrialist Dr. Chris Kirubi has urged members of the public to exercise extreme caution when making any...

Ask Kirubi

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 24 – Businessman and industrialist Dr. Chris Kirubi is set to own half of Centum Investment Company PLC, following a go-ahead...

Ask Kirubi

It is without a doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic has caught the whole world by surprise. Although its full impact is yet to be...


NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 18 – Commercial Banks have been ordered to provide relief to borrowers on their personal loans, with loans eligible from March...


NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun17 – Kenya’s tea leaves manufacturer Kericho Gold, has been awarded the Superbrands Seal by Superbrands East Africa for their quality variety...


NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 13 – As the local telecommunications industry gears up to roll out 5G networks in the country, the Communications Authority of...


NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 22 – Airtel Kenya is offering free internet access for students in order to enable continued learning at home in the...