KENYA – Experts from the Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (KEPHIS) have organized a training exercise for farmers in Elgeyo Marakwet County to equip farmers with the necessary knowledge and skills to meet the requirements for accessing international markets.
Kephis Managing Director, Prof. Theophilus Mutui, said that his organization will support farmers in exporting their mangoes and avocados, along with other products, by ensuring that they are free from diseases.
“We will also provide them with the necessary certification so that their goods can access various markets around the world,” he said.
Speaking in Iten after meeting with county officials led by Governor Wisley Rotich, the Managing Director (MD) stated that the organization, in collaboration with other agencies, has successfully established an avocado market for India, where they are targeting a population of 500 million people.
Prof. Mutui further stated that the country has also gained access to the avocado market in China, as well as in Mauritius. He added that they are making significant efforts to open new markets in the USA, South Korea, and South Africa, among others.
“Therefore, through our partnership with the county, we anticipate that farmers from Elgeyo Marakwet will reap the benefits of international markets,” stated Mutui.
Noting that fruit flies were a major challenge in the county, Kephis Chairman Joseph M’Uthari said the experts would collaborate with farmers to eliminate them, ensuring that their products can be certified as suitable for export.
He added that they will also collaborate with farmers in the county to produce certified seeds. This initiative will not only help farmers increase their yields but also ensure that they obtain high-quality products for export.
The chairman said that this will also provide additional income opportunities for farmers. He mentioned that apart from selling their produce to other farmers, they can also sell it to companies that specialize in selling seeds.
This initiative comes shortly after Kenya’s fresh produce exporters were urged to take advantage of the Kenya-UK economic partnership that was signed in January 2020. The aim is to increase their market share in Britain’s imports.
Kenya’s High Commissioner to the UK, Manoah Esipisu, stated that Kenya is committed to ensuring that the partnership yields positive results.
Despite the UK being Kenya’s fifth top export destination – after Uganda, Pakistan, the US, and the Netherlands – a report by the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) said trade between the two nations remains relatively stagnant.
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