KENYA – The Agriculture and Food Authority’s (AFA) Nairobi Horticulture Centre Pack House has received the esteemed HACCP (SANS 10330:2020) Certification marking a pivotal moment in upholding food quality and safety standards within the industry.

The ceremony, graced by Trademark Africa’s Country Director Mr. Ahmed Farah, is a demonstration of AFA’s commitment to providing the lead and adhering to food quality and safety standards.

The ceremony was also witnessed by other distinguished figures including Dr. Juma Mukhwana, PhD, CBS – Principal Secretary for Industrialization, Hon. Cornelly Serem – AFA Chairman, Dr. Rosebellah Lang’at – AFA Board member, Eng. Zakaria Lukorito – Ag. Director Standards Development and Trade at KEBS, Grace Kyalo – Ag. Director AFA Fibre Crops Directorate, and Christine Chesaro Rotich – Ag. Director AFA Horticultural Crops Directorate.

“This certification serves as a testament to AFA’s unwavering commitment to lead by example in upholding food safety and quality standards,” outlined their X post.

SANS 10330:2020, a South African National Standard, lays down the framework for a food safety management system grounded in Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) principles.

This standard is universally applicable, encompassing organizations involved in food production, handling, or supply, irrespective of their scale or specialization.

Recognizing the significance of adherence to this standard, various training courses are available to aid organizations in implementing SANS 10330:2020 requirements.

For instance, BSI offers a comprehensive 2-day virtual classroom course aimed at equipping participants with the knowledge to develop and implement HACCP food safety plans using the CODEX HACCP methodology, ensuring effective compliance with SANS 10330:2020.

AFA, established under the Agriculture and Food Authority Act No 13 of 2013, operates within the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries, and Cooperatives.

Its primary role involves regulating, developing, and promoting scheduled crops’ value chains to foster Kenya’s economic growth.

Within AFA, the Horticultural Crops Directorate (HCD) plays a pivotal role in overseeing and regulating the horticulture industry.

Responsible for the promotion, development, and regulation of fruit trees, medicinal and aromatic plants, vegetables, flowers, and ornamental plants, HCD’s efforts contribute significantly to Kenya’s GDP.

The HCD remains integral to Kenya’s agricultural landscape as it was established to drive crop diversification, improve nutrition, generate income, create employment opportunities, and bolster foreign exchange earnings.

Bixa Production Handbook

Meanwhile in another parallel development the food authority has launched their Bixa Production Handbook, a vital document containing information on various stages of bixa production.

AFA Board Chairman Hon. Cornelly Serem presided over the official launch during the stakeholder validation forum on the draft Crops (Bixa) Regulations, 2023 held at KSG Mombasa.

“This handbook aims to guide Bixa growers on Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) to enhance the quality production and productivity of the crop,” outlined their LinkedIn post. “The manual provides information on sustainable bixa farming systems, and soil and water conservation.”

Present at the forum was the Ministry of Agriculture Director Agri-Business, Dr. Gilbert Muthee, AFA Ag. DG Willis Audi, AFA Board members – Christopher Nkangi, Daniel Kitivo, OGW, Jairus Ombui, Director AFA Miraa, Pyrethrum and Other Industrial Crops Directorate Felix Mutwiri and Director AFA Food Crops Directorate Calistus Efukho among other stakeholders.

Locally known as “mrangi”, for its bright red fruits that have numerous seeds, Bixa is a cash crop introduced into Kenya’s Coast region in the 1970s. Top of Form

In Kenya, Bixa Orellana has been one of the four major cash crops in Kwale and one of the seven major cash crops in Lamu.

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