The Ministry of Agriculture, through the Agriculture and Food Authority (AFA), has developed an online National Horticulture Traceability System (NHTS), which is meant to automate the process of fresh produce traceability from farm to market.
The system, which was developed in partnership with the USAID-funded Kenya Crops and Dairy Market Systems (RTI-KCDMS) project, is geared towards increasing transparency and accountability in the horticultural supply chains in response to recent challenges faced by the industry in complying with the European Union’s (EU) international food safety requirements.
AFA Chairman Cornelly Serem said that Kenya has in the past faced challenges in accessing international markets, and these challenges include lack of a national traceability system for horticultural produce, frequent interceptions of exports due to excessive pesticide residue limits, and the presence of regulated pests in export consignments.
Speaking on Wednesday at a Nairobi hotel during the launch, Serem said that these challenges pose a threat to the competitiveness of Kenyan horticulture exports to the EU, which is our main market.
“The implementation of this system will bring about a paradigm shift not only in the horticulture sector but also in other agricultural sectors. As we roll out the implementation of the system, we will endeavour to integrate it with that of other relevant government agencies such as the Pest Control Products Board (PCPB) and the Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (KEPHIS) for ease of access by stakeholders,” said Serem.
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