Local fruit and vegetable sellers plan to fix supply chain challenges as they seek to more than double their share of exports.
According to the chief executive of Fresh Produce Exporters Association of Kenya (FPEAK), Hosea Machuki, demand for fruits, vegetables, and herbs continues to increase, offering farmers the opportunity to up their earnings.
“A value chain approach to food safety and quality will ensure that the responsibility for the supply of safe produce is shared by all operators involved in production, processing, trade and consumption of food, including regulatory support,” said Machuki.
Data from the sub-sector shows edible horticulture (vegetables, fruits and nuts) production in Kenya has increased tenfold in the past 20 years.
According to Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, earnings from horticulture exports rose 20 per cent to $755 million (Sh77.81 billion) in the first nine months of last year when compared to 2015.
Buoyed by these numbers, FPEAK, in conjunction with the Kenya Association of Small and Medium Scale Fruits and Vegetables has organised a two-day conference starting today in Nairobi to discuss ways of promoting competitiveness in the sub-sector through enhanced adoption of food safety standards.
Stakeholders will also discuss food safety control systems, marketing, and access to finance.