KENYA – The GLOBALG.A.P TOUR conference, which promotes food safety and good agricultural practices, will be held in Kenya from March 28 to 30 at the Safari Park Hotel in Nairobi.

GLOBALG.A.P is a widely accepted certification system for agricultural products.

The meeting will be held in collaboration with Rootooba, a technical support service for Kenyan agriculture.

A wide range of business leaders will attend the conference, including implementing partners for USAID, sector associations FPEAK, and the Agrochemicals Association of Kenya.

The Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO), the Agriculture and Food Authority (AFA), Avocado Exporters Association of Kenya, Fresh Produce Exporters Association of Kenya (FPEAK), Agrochemicals Association of Kenya (AAK), and participants in the private sector will be present.

The Cabinet Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development, Mithika Linturi and GLOBALG.A.P. Managing Director, Dr Kristian Moeller are expected to give their keynote address during the event.

There will be a dialogue led by the private sector to make sure the cost of compliance is reasonable and practicable, according to Charity Mutegi, Technical Lead at Rootooba.

“Private sector knows best how and where the shoe pinches most, and hence remains critical in providing solutions,” she said.

The conference will endeavor to advance good agricultural practices, safe and sustainable farming, market compliance, accessibility to regional and global trade networks, and customer responsiveness.

It is also anticipated that discussions will focus on increasing prospects for Kenyan produce to enter untapped regional and international markets.

According to Mutegi, the conference’s discussions will center on crucial concerns affecting the trade in fresh produce in both local and international markets.

“These include changing pesticide 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,” she said.

Mutegi said some of the other expected outcomes from the conference 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 grounds for a follow-up with relevant government agencies and the private sector, including the National Horticulture Taskforce, GLOBALG.A.P National Technical Working Group and Agriculture and Food Authority, among others,” she said.

She pointed out that since the first stop on the Kenyan tour in 2019, local producers have been more interested in embracing GLOBALG.A.P standards and adhering to other global market standards.

“Additionally, there has been efforts by major development partners to support market growth for agrofood products as a means to foster local and international trade,” she said.

Despite the fact that the exported goods contribute significantly to the nation’s GDP, just 4% of Kenya’s horticulture produce (fruits and vegetables) is exported, consistent with data from the Fresh Produce Exporters Association of Kenya, while 96% is consumed domestically.

Notwithstanding the hitches the agricultural industry is facing, like the disruption brought on by Covid-19, export revenues for 2020 were Sh151 billion (U.S$ 1.2 billion).

Fruits brought in Sh18 billion (U.S$ 141 million) and vegetables Sh24 billion (U.S$ 188 million)for the nation.

Participants will also have an opportunity to make site visits to enterprises with a proven record of globally-recognized best practices in production and handling operations.

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