PUBLISHED ON December 15th, 2023

Fresh produce industry players sign deal to boost export market

Clement Tulezi, Chairperson, National Horticulture Taskforce (L) and Ahmed Farah, Kenya Country Director, TradeMark Africa pose for a photo after signing the partnership agreement aimed at strengthening and sustaining trade and investment in Kenya’s fresh produce exports

TradeMark Africa and National Horticulture Taskforce forged alliance to boost fresh produce export market.

In Summary

  • Kenya seeks to transition 50 percent of fresh produce exports from air to sea freight by the year 2030.
  • The transition is both an environmental choice and a vital economic advantage to secure its fresh produce exports.

TradeMark Africa (TMA) has signed a technical and financial support agreement with the National Horticulture Taskforce (NHT).

The two partners committed to strengthening and sustaining investments in Kenya’s fresh produce exports.

The agreement was signed as part of the EU-funded Business Environment and Export Enhancement Programme (BEEEP), which is among other areas supporting the transition of 50 percent of fresh produce exports from Kenya from air to sea freight by the year 2030.

The agreement was signed at an event that brought together stakeholders from the logistics sector to assess the state of agro logistics in Kenya and review the development of Kenya’s master plan on the modal shift of fresh produce exports from air to sea freight.

Clement Tulezi, Chairperson, of the National Horticulture Taskforce said Kenya’s transitioning from airfreight to sea freight is not only an environmental choice but a vital economic advantage to secure its fresh produce exports, as supermarkets in the UK and Europe seek to diminish their climate footprint.

He spoke on Thursday during the signing of the partnership agreement aimed at strengthening and sustaining trade and investment in Kenya’s fresh produce exports.

Tulezi added that airfreighting from Kenya to Europe generates substantially higher greenhouse gases compared to sea freight.

One kilogram of air-freighted green beans emits as much as 177 kilograms of sea-freighted green beans.

“Part of the targeted initiatives by the NHT include building the capacity of producers of horticultural products. This is to utilize sustainable processes including the use of renewable energy in farms, implementing various water conservation methods, and transitioning exports of fresh produce from air freight to sea freight,” Tulezi said.

Henriette Geiger, Ambassador of the European Union to Kenya said they are fully in support of the NHT as they transition the avocado, mango, and vegetable value chains towards more sustainable production processes from farm to fork.

“This also aligns with our Generation Green Campaign, where we are targeting increased productivity that will stimulate economic development through job creation, but sustainably and inclusively,” Geiger said.

Ahmed Farah, TradeMark Africa, Kenya Country Director noted that the horticulture sector in Kenya stands as a cornerstone of our nation’s economy.

It wields immense potential in driving economic growth, generating employment, and diversifying our agricultural landscape.

From the cultivation and export of high-value crops like cut flowers, fruits, and vegetables; to fostering economic progress and poverty reduction, this sector paints a vibrant canvas of opportunity.

However, amid its success, Farah said the path is not devoid of challenges.

“Transportation bottlenecks, quality control issues, market access barriers, and sustainability demands stand as hurdles impeding the sector’s unrestrained growth. It is for this reason that we hold today’s Collaborative Learning and Adaptation (CLA) event; to address these obstacles and harness the full potential of our horticultural industry,” he said.

“As the world moves towards more sustainable production, there has been the need for Kenyan producers to integrate sustainable agricultural practices and environmental impact mitigation strategies contributing towards the actualization of the net zero carbon emissions. This partnership therefore will be key in enabling producers to meet these requirements,” said Farah.

He added that earlier in the year, the European Union signed an Sh4.2 billion agreement with TMA in support of the Business Environment and Export Enhancement Programme (BEEEP).

“BEEEP is a unique export-oriented value chain ecosystem that will resolve challenges in the mangos, avocados, and vegetable value chains to enhance competitiveness and increase access to identified export markets,” Farah explained.

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Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of TradeMark Africa.