EU pumps Ksh650m in New Export Trade (NExT) Initiative

Thu, May 20, 2021



Programme seeks compliance with sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) and food safety standards for countries exporting fresh produce to the European Union

The European Union (EU) has announced funding for a programme to ensure Kenya’s horticulture exports comply with sanitary and phytosanitary standards in foreign markets.

Working within the context of the European Green Deal, the programme announced in April 2021 in Nairobi seeks compliance with sanitary and phytosanitary standard(SPS) and food safety standards for countries exporting fresh produce to the European Union.

The European Green Deal is a set of policy initiatives that seeks to make Europe climate neutral by 2050. Kenya’s horticultural export trade continues to focus on the EU, the world’s largest trading bloc, with a population of around 506 million.

Employment Opportunities
Dubbed the NExT (New Export Trade) programme, it is aimed at increasing the contribution of the horticultural sector to Kenyan household incomes through the generation of employment opportunities and foreign currency. Its emphasis will be also be on improved food security, food safety and nutrition by increasing the resilience, inclusiveness and sustainability of Kenyan horticultural value chains.

To run until April 2024, the NExT Kenya programme was conceptualised by COLEACP in consultation with the horticulture stakeholders. COLEACP is an agri-food association that brings the public and private sectors together, through companies and experts committed to sustainable agriculture.

NExT’s Programme Co-ordinator is Kenyan Dr. Chagema Kedera, who has over two decades of experience in agriculture/trade, especially in national and international standards — covering plant protection, food safety, biotechnology, plant variety protection and seed certification.

“A key aim of the programme is to reinforce the capacity of agribusinesses and Business Member Organisations (BMOs) in the sector, focusing on good agricultural practices; compliance with standards and market requirements; access to markets; market intelligence; access to finance, and business skills.

At the same time, the programme sets to improve the capacity of the public sector, especially the competent authorities, to strengthen the competitiveness of products of Kenyan origin,” Dr Kedera said at the NExT digital status event.
NExT’s expected outcomes will seek to improve the horticulture sector by strengthening its competitiveness. This will include engagement with the Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (KEPHIS), Pest Control Products Board (PCPB), Horticultural Crop Directorate (HCB) and the Kenya Agriculture and Livestock Research Organisation (KALRO).
Business and technical training.

The Fresh Produce Exporters Association of Kenya, (FPEAK), the Kenya Flower Council (KFC), the Fresh Produce Consortium of Kenya (FPC) and the Avocado Society of Kenya are the four BMO’s that will benefit from the NExT programme, which will invest €5 million (KSh650 million).

Recent activities have included business skills training, technical training for companies in integrated pest management, and the development of Good Practice Guides for avocado and peas/beans. Coaching for Kenyan flower growing companies will commence shortly, to help drastically reduce interceptions of the false codling moth (FCM) on roses exported to Europe.

Photo Credit: Peter Ngoga

The technical staff of Fresh Produce Exporters Association of Kenya (FPEAK), Fresh Produce Consortium of Kenya (FPC) and Kenya Flower Council (KFC) pictured at a group training on effective implementation of protocols for the management of false codling moth (FCM, Thaumatotibia leucotreta) in Nairobi in April 2021.  Member companies will be coached on the implementation of the FCM protocol in the coming months.

The NExT Kenya offices are located at Nairobi Laiboni Centre, 4th Floor, Lenana Road, Kilimani. They can be reached through a dedicated website, https://kenya.coleacp.org

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