By Rogers Aghan, February, 27, 2023, GLOBALG.A.P., the internationally recognized certification standard for farm production, has partnered with Rootooba, a Kenyan, agriculturally-based technical support provider to hold its second TOUR stop conference at Safari Park Hotel in Nairobi from March 28-30, 2023.
According to data from the Fresh Produce Exporters Association of Kenya (FPEAK), only four percent of the country’s horticultural produce (fruits and vegetables), is exported, while 96% is locally consumed. This, despite the fact that the exported produce makes a significant contribution to the country’s GDP.
The data from FPEAK also shows that 95% of flowers grown locally are exported to various international markets with more markets having opened for the sector in UAE, USA and more. Despite the challenges facing the crops sector such as the disruption caused by COVID-19, the export earnings for the year 2020 stood at Ksh.151Bn. Fruits earned the country Ksh 18B, vegetables Ksh 24B and the rest came from flowers which equaled Ksh 108B.
Kenya GLOBALG.A.P. TOUR stop
The GLOBALG.A.P. TOUR stop will take place in Nairobi and will seek to promote good agricultural practices, safe and sustainable farming, market compliance, access to national and international trade networks, and responsiveness to consumer demands. 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. These include changing pesticides regimes, implications of the lifting of the GMO ban on Kenya’s fresh produce export markets, testing solutions, harmonizing market standards for the benefit of producers and exporters and financing solutions.
The Cabinet Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development, Mithika Linturi and GLOBALG.A.P. Managing Director, Dr Kristian Moeller will officiate the first day of the event at Safari Park Hotel. Participants will also have an opportunity to make site visits to enterprises with a proven record of globally-recognized best practice in production and handling operations.
The conference brings together an array of industry leaders that includes development partners led by USAID implementing partners, sector associations including Fresh Produce Exporters Association of Kenya (FPEAK), Agrochemicals Association of Kenya (AAK), Avocado Exporters Association of Kenya, Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organisation (KALRO), Agriculture and Food Authority (AFA), producers, and a wide range of private sector players.
“We expect a private sector driven discussion on ensuring that the burden of compliance is practical and affordable. Private sector knows best how and where the shoe pinches most, and hence remain critical in providing solutions.” said Dr Charity Mutegi, the Technical Lead, Rootooba and a GLOBALG.A.P. Registered Trainer.
Some of the other expected outcomes from the TOUR stop include increased awareness on emerging global markets for Kenyan produce, with a special focus on the US. The recommendations from the event are expected to form the grounds for a follow-up with relevant government agencies and the private sector, including National Horticulture Taskforce, GLOBALG.A.P. National Technical Working Group (NTWG) and Agriculture and Food Authority (AFA), among others.
Since the first Kenyan TOUR stop in 2019, the interest in adopting GLOBALG.A.P. standards and
compliance to other international market standards by local producers has increased in the country.
Additionally, there has been efforts by major development partners to support market growthfor agro-food products, as a meas to foster local and international trade.
GLOBALG.A.P. is a brand of smart farm assurance solutions developed by FoodPLUS GmbH in Cologne, Germany, with cooperation from producers, retailers, and other stakeholders from across the food industry. These solutions include a range of standards for safe, socially and environmentally responsible farming practices. The most widely used GLOBALG.A.P. standard is IFA, applicable to fruit and vegetables, aquaculture, floriculture, livestock, and more. This standard also forms the basis for the GGN label: the consumer label for certified, responsible farming and transparency.