Strengthening our relationship with Kenyan & Tanzanian Agriculture Journalists

The shared vision of the Kenyan, Tanzanian and the Netherlands governments is an important indicator of the strong partnership and possibilities in the agricultural sector.

As the Government of Kenya has just outlined its vision for 2017 to 2021, in which agriculture is an important focus area it is named under 2 of the 4 pillars (Food security and Processing). At the same time, in Tanzania there is a sharp increase in interest and investments in the Agriculture sector by Dutch businesses. This is therefore an opportune moment to deepen the relationship with the key agricultural journalists in both countries. A group of 8 Kenyan and 2 Tanzanian journalists were thus invited to visit the agriculture sector in the Netherlands to increase their knowledge of the Dutch approach, mostly related technology & innovations.

Anne Saris from the Port of Rotterdam explains more about seafreight to Zeynab Wandati from NTV

Strong trade relation

The Netherlands is a leader in innovative solutions. And Dutch businesses and public institutions have a unique way in which they work together in strengthening an entire value chain. Some of the proposed Dutch solutions and innovations that could aid in achieving the goals set by the Kenyan and Tanzanian government and are interesting for East Africa as a whole were experienced real life by the journalists. Moreover, during the visit it became clear how the Netherlands became the number 1 export partner for Kenya at the beginning of this year, underlining the importance of the trade relationship between Kenya and the Netherlands.

A close up on Climate Smart Solutions

Highlights of the program

East Africa is developing rapidly and its farmers are very interested in fast-tracking the development of their businesses. To see what is possible and share some valuable lessons learned the group went visited various companies and cooperatives where they could ask all they wanted to know. The companies were very open to share their experiences and during each visit there was a dynamic interaction between the group, interviews were taken, radio shots recorded and questions asked in the midst of the daily activities of the companies. The main focus of the questions asked was around the following themes:

  1. Mitigation and Prevention of risks to the agricultural sector – Focus on Climate Smart solutions and Integrated Pest Management solutions. This is in line with the plans of the Kenyan government to increase irrigation schemes and deal with water in a more sustainable way in the future.
  2. A focus on possible Dutch ICT solutions that could be implemented in East Africa (also a priority outlined in the Kenyan Vision) – ICT solutions can be tailored to and increase effectiveness of businesses; they are therefore seen as a possible ideal means to strengthen the competitiveness of the agricultural sector in Kenya & Tanzania.
  3. Seeing the value chain at work. Providing everyone with a full understanding of the existing cooperation, but also the full scope of effort and investment which goes into the programs and trade relation in East Africa.
  4. Dutch ways to increase productivity and decrease post-harvest losses to feed the growing population is of underlying importance during the visit.

Insights into trade: Kenyan flowers being sold at the auction

Articles

No matter whether we were at a busy flower auction or in the windy port many questions were raised which already resulted in the publications of several articles and news items:

What is next

Several programs of the Netherlands in the agriculture sector run region-wide, so that lessons learned can be shared from one country to the next and new markets can be opened. This coincides with the ambition of the East Africa Community (EAC) to increase economic ties between African Countries and amplify trade. To share experiences, results and lessons learned with the public is a very important aspect. It enables us to connect and interact with the various stakeholders more easily. We therefore greatly value the relationship we have with the media and would like to thank each and every one for their critical contributions and professionalism.

Bernard Koech from Kass Radio talking about IPM

If you would like to share with us your story on Dutch smart solutions that work for your business or if you have any other questions please feel free to send an email to nai-lnv@minbuza.nl or follow us on twitter for the latest developments @NLAgriKenya