Cabinet Secretary warns that Kenyan fresh produce reputation is at stake

The Kenyan government has warned its growers that the nation could lose losing its reputation in the fresh produce export markets unless producers maintain the required internationals standards. Trade and Enterprise Development Cabinet Secretary Betty Maina said some farmers are harvesting produce before maturity, leading to problems with and/or recall of exports.

According to Ms Maina, this leads to the produce being locked out of the export markets, which hurts Kenya's reputation. She said such cases are stalling the government's efforts to secure trade deals and markets for Kenyan exports.

Last year, officers from the Agriculture Foods Authority intercepted three containers with 75 tonnes of suspected immature avocados at the Port of Mombasa.

Key export markets such as China, the EU and US have strict sanitary and phytosanitary standards that must be adhered to if the country is to benefit, Ms Maina said, calling on associations and lobby group to sensitise farmers and exporters within their respective sectors.

As reported on, Kenyan industry partners are keen to secure a Free Trade Agreement with the US that will give Kenyan exports preferential market access, ahead of the lapse of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) in 2025, which eliminates import tariffs on goods from eligible African nations. Other markets the government is keen to expand in, according to the CS, include Russia, Japan and South Korea.

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