From left: Josephine Simiyu, Deputy Director- Regulations and Compliance at Horticulture Crop Directorate, Michael Michener, Deputy Assistant Administrator, USAID's Bureau for Resilience and Food Security, Apollo Owour, Technical Director, Sustainable Farming Africa, Senator Senki Lenku Ole Kanar, Chairman Standing Committee of Trade, Industry and Tourism, Harry Kimtai, Principal Secretary, State Department of Livestock, Benjamin Tito, Director Horticulture Crop Directorate and Dr Kristian Moeller, GLOBALG.A.P. Managing Director, during the first day of the tourstop in Nairobi on March 28. Photo Credit: Murimi Gitari

Kenya wins praise for leadership role in GLOBALG.A.P. certifications in Africa

[rt_dropcap_style dropcap_letter=”T” dropcap_content=”HE Government of Kenya has called for good agricultural practices to boost safe food production and consumption in the country.”]

Agriculture Cabinet secretary Mithika Linturi said Kenya is adopting technologies that improve efficiencies in farm operations. In his remarks, read by Livestock PS Harry Kimtai during the GLOBALGAP TOURSTOP in Nairobi, Mr Linturi said the government runs exchange programmes with multiple countries to benchmark and adopt best practices in irrigation systems, pest control and natural resource management.

He also hailed the certification agency as one of the most soughtafter standards in the international markets. “Kenya takes pride in having the most certifications on GLOBALGAP in Africa. The certification scheme provides an opportunity for Kenyan farmers and exporters to meet the high standards required for the global market,” he said.

“Our research institutions that include the Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organisation (KALRO) continue to generate practical affordable solutions on good agricultural practices for our farmers,” he added.

He also noted the importance of production standards required by global buyers with an emphasis on food safety and social accountability, driven by regulatory changes in the main markets as well as the need to manage reputational risk in the face of increasing consumer awareness and concern.

These standards are extending to target the environment and sustainable production in a far more comprehensive way, according to the minister.

“These trends require that the Kenyan farmers, exporters and public sector institutions from the production and regulatory infrastructure be increasingly flexible and dynamic in responding to what is a highly diverse market, addressing sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) challenges cost-effectively and raising quality standards, among other adaptations.”

Chairperson of Standing Committee of Trade Industry and Tourism at Kenya’s Senate, Senki Lenku ole Kenar, said the Senate would support food safety efforts by ensuring all Bills in the Parliament aligned to food safety will be enacted into laws.

Kenya tops the list of countries in Africa with the most certifications on GLOBALGAP to meet market requirements, both voluntary and technical standards, which are a key aspect of trade. The GLOBALGAP Managing Director Kristian Moller said Kenya is a role model of good agricultural practices and certification in Africa. As an early adopter, the country has penetrated the European Union and other global markets.

“The free trade agreement by the African Union is now the opportunity for other countries to learn from Kenya. That is why we are here. Our message is that we all need to lift food safety even higher because we want to eradicate health issues like malnutrition because of food, which is our obligation. Farmers need that support,” he said.

He added that farmers around the world want to produce food safely and responsibly, noting that farming is an intensive job.

“We are here to ensure that these farming practices make sense to farmers and in the end, have food safety,” said Dr Moeller. Organised by Rootooba and partners, the event culminates into site visits where participants get an opportunity to experience firsthand enterprises with a proven record of best practices in production and handling operations that are compliant with GOLBALGAP and other international standards.

Some of the organisations include Mitchell Cotts, Plantech, KALRO, Horticultural Research Institute, Cropnuts Laboratories and Kakuzi Plc. The conference brought together industry leaders, development partners led by USAID and other stakeholders.

The annual conference was the second edition of the GLOBALGAP TourStop, with the first one held in 2019.

The event is part of GLOBALGAP’s campaign to engage leading stakeholders across the globe and create common private-sector incentives for agricultural producers to adopt safe and sustainable farming practices.

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