COLEACP’s EU-funded NExT Kenya (New Export Trade) programme was launched digitally in July 2020. Here we bring you up to date on activities since then.
Technical and administrative staff for the Nairobi office will be recruited by the end of 2020.
In the meantime, the COLEACP team in charge of Kenya operations has been managing our initial NExT activities in synergy with our existing programmes operating in Kenya – Fit For Market and Fit For Market SPS.
We are already analysing requests for NExT programme support from a number of Kenyan institutions – including the Association of Kenya Mango Traders, Fresh Produce Consortium of Kenya (FPC-Kenya), Fresh Produce Exporters Association of Kenya (FPEAK), Horticultural Crops Directorate (HCD), Kenya Export Promotion and Branding Agency (KEPROBA), Kenya Flower Council (KFC), Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (KEPHIS), Kenyatta University, Pest Control Products Board (PCPB), Retail Trade Association of Kenya (RETRAK) – as well as 10 private sector companies/service providers. COLEACP’s Sustainability Self-Assessment System will be used to help identify relevant support activities for individual companies, which will form individual action plans (Memoranda of Understanding).
The first programme activities have been targeting urgent industry-related bottlenecks, as well as defining the content of the individual action plans. They include:
Setting up a Kenyan National Task Force for Horticulture (NTFH) for enhanced public–private sector coordination on strategic/policy issues. COLEACP has facilitated the revamping and coordination of this Task Force. A senior expert initiated dialogue among the key public sector institutions (Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Cooperatives, MALFC; Kenya Agricultural & Livestock Research Organization, KALRO; HCD; KEPHIS; PCPB,) and sector associations (Agrochemicals Association of Kenya, AAK; FPC-Kenya; FPEAK; KFC). Mr Joshua Oluyali of MALFC will be Chairperson of the NTFH, with Mr Clement Tulezi, CEO of KFC, taking the role of Co-Chair from the private sector. Meetings have been held to review and validate the NTFH’s terms of reference, and to decide on the various NTFH committees and their objectives.
Designing a national action plan for French beans and peas to address the maximum residue limit (MRL) interceptions on the EU market for this produce, an important bottleneck affecting the sector.
Coaching Kenyan flower companies on management of Thaumatotibia leucotreta (false codling moth, FCM), which has been the leading cause of interceptions of roses, including dissemination of COLEACP’s improved FCM protocol for roses.
Working together with KEPHIS to support development of the draft mango dossier for submission to the EU; preparation for the EC Food and Veterinary Office audit; mapping of donor-funded activities; a capacity and skills audit to define priority areas for intervention; and a meeting with the European Union Delegation in Kenya to define bottlenecks and priorities
Meeting with the PCPB and the Minor Crops Committee to set up a list of trials critical for crop–pest combinations
Meeting with Union Fleurs, KFC and DG SANTE to discuss an increased control regime for flower exports
Business support bootcamps, followed by individual e-coaching for Kenyan companies
One Kenyan company has been linked to potential funding by the ABC Fund
Kenya’s NPPO took part in a COLEACP e-meeting on internal audit systems that was attended by 17 ACP NPPOs.
Providing training for lecturers in Kenyatta University’s Department of Plant Sciences on the use of Moodle/Camtasia for creating and animating online training courses.
NExT Kenya will be working closely with other donor-funded initiatives for the Kenyan horticultural sector to create and optimise synergies.
With MARKUP we will be collaborating on a baseline study of extension services in Kenya for the French beans and peas value chain, contributing to their broader study including other value chains. A common approach will be defined for capacity-building activities to improve the public and private sector extension services.
With the Rockefeller Foundation we are working to define and run viable pilots for domestic food safety compliance using the KS 1758 standard, building on COLEACP’s experience in this area.
COLEACP participates in Mango Technical Working Group meetings, organised by Kenya Crops and Dairy Market Systems (KCDMS), Technoserve and Rockefeller Foundation, to contribute to a common approach to fruit fly management for Kenyan mangoes.
Meetings have also taken place with CABI, the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE), the Netherlands Embassy, Micro Enterprises Support Programme Trust (MESPT), Trade Mark East Africa, and the World Vegetable Center.
DEVELOPING GOOD PRACTICE GUIDES FOR THE HORTICULTURAL SECTOR
COLEACP’s digital training in developing Good Practice Guides for the production of specific crops across the ACP regions is continuing. The kick-off meeting for the second phase took place on 23 September with 12 selected locally-based experts. This phase involves live coaching sessions, and will be followed by phase 3, when participants develop a Good Practice Guide in collaboration with industry partners, supervised by COLEACP’s long-time trainer Professor Bruno Schiffers. Four Good Practice Guides are currently planned in French: Mango (West Africa), Potato (Guinea), Leafy vegetables (Togo) and Pineapple (Benin). In total, 99 experts – 46 English-speaking, 53 French-speaking – have enrolled in the training, which is carried out within the framework of COLEACP’s Fit For Market SPS programme.
16 supervisors from the National Federation of Village Cooperatives of Pineapple Producers of Benin (FENACOPAB) have been receiving training that they will pass on to producers. Participants received theoretical training on integrated crop protection and the safe use of pesticides, as well as training-of-trainers sessions. To date, 11 supervisors have been coached and more than 400 producers have been trained on the safe use of pesticides and the protection of pineapple cultivation. The coaching also offered an opportunity to begin qualitative monitoring of the training received. An individual questionnaire was submitted to each producer before the training sessions. The idea is to come back at regular intervals in order to qualitatively evaluate the evolution of the producers’ practices in terms of the use of phytosanitary products and the protection of pineapple cultivation. A section of the questionnaire deals with the application of hygiene and social distancing measures related to Covid-19. This training, part of the Fit For Market programme, in carried out in collaboration with Enabel’s Defia (Entrepreneurship Development in the Pineapple Sector) programme, which finances the equipment and logistics.
UGANDA: A NEW INTERNAL CONTROL SYSTEM FOR ORGANIC CERTIFICATION
COLEACP is supporting Ugandan company Asante Mama to set up an effective internal control system to certify the required organic production practices of its suppliers, in compliance with the latest EU regulations. This innovative farming business, with the motto “Doing Business and Doing Good”, produces fruits, herbs and spices as well as cocoa. By processing horticultural produce into high-value, organically certified food products, Asante Mama aims to include hundreds of smallholder organic farmers in its supply chain.
Nigeria and Guinea: Digital market access with national professional associations
Impacts on logistics and access to markets have been raised by COLEACP members and partners as major issues due to COVID-19. COLEACP is therefore working on innovative national and international logistics and trade solutions to help ensure continued trade in agricultural and food products. These solutions include matching supply to demand for available logistics routes; and diversifying from export markets to local/regional markets, and from fresh to processing. After a 3-month pilot phase, the first matches between local fruit and vegetable suppliers and local buyers were recorded in Guinea and Nigeria, thanks to the involvement of the professional associations FEPAF (Fédération des Planteurs de la Filière fruit) and the Agricultural Fresh Produce & Exporters Association of Nigeria (AFGEAN), using a digital interface designed by COLEACP as part of its COVID-19 action plan. The objective now is to build on this trial by developing a more comprehensive web platform, integrating this and other services such as access to logistics information, market developments, and training. The web platform will also be used for the promotion of associations and their members. The test phase is still ongoing in Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana and Kenya.