Floriculture Industry Stakeholder Meeting

The Agricultural Department organized a floriculture industry stakeholder meeting to get the industry players together and discuss recent opportunities and challenges in the sector. In attendance were different stakeholders from the entire value chain, such as: flower growers, freighters, suppliers, financial institutions, Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Services (KEPHIS), Kenya Flower council (KFC), Kenya Horticulture council (KHC), as well as a team from Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA) electronic certification and trade facilitation department. The main issues discussed dealt with market access and market maintenance.

Beeld: ©Naivasha Roundtable 2018

Market Access

New markets were highlighted including Asia and USA. KHC and KFC presented on this topic. They highlighted that Kenya Airways will start a direct flight to USA towards the end of 2018. At a glance this looks like a great opportunity but several stakeholders brought up the current challenge of freight capacity. To address this the industry association was challenged to bring the relevant stakeholders in the freight aviation, ministry bodies in transport and Aviation space together to find solutions to the sector.

Flower Watch gave a pitch on cool chain performance especially with exploring new markets. New challenges are expected with packaging standards since the new destinations have different requirements (read more about this: link to packaging workshop article). Another alternative presented was sea freight, especially for those looking for new markets in the Middle East. The challenge here would be to produce varieties that can withstand sea freight conditions.

Clearing the Sky

The digital developments were also discussed, especially in line with clearing the sky. Related to the issuance of electronic certification and phytosanitary certificates online. The project on Electronic Certification (ECS) between Netherlands and Kenya was highlighted by NVWA and KEPHIS and the current state of affairs was discussed. Although there are still challenges there is a good cooperation and real progress has been made. Issues brought up by the participants concerned delays in printing of certificates. KEPHIS assured the growers of their commitment to ensure that their services do not result in delay of export procedures. They asked growers to escalate any delays experienced directly to them personally, to ensure that this is addressed with the urgency that is required.

Beeld: ©Naivasha Roundtable 2018

False Coddling Moth

KEPHIS also highlighted the issue of False Coddling Moth (FCM) which is now a notifiable pest effective January 2018 in the European Union. This means that it is a quarantine organism with zero tolerance. With the exports it may affects green capsicum and the flowers. The implication of an interception would affect the industry as a whole if not curbed. The regulator from KEPHIS went into depth on the measures they have taken and advised the growers to have this managed from the farms to avoid interception. Measures they have put in place include early warning of the presence of false coddling moth in specific areas to the growers, training of growers to identify and eliminate false coddling moth as well as farm inspections.

In the end it was agreed that the forum was necessary and the input taken on should be incorporated into future meetings. Participants felt that the Ministry of Agriculture and Transport should be represented in future forum to complete the list of large industry players. Additionally, it was mentioned that the Embassy should work closely together with other Embassies in dealing with challenges to present one voice.

During the meeting the following newsletter was handed out with information on current developments.

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