Kenya: Revamped National Horticulture Taskforce gets to work

The public-private National Horticulture Taskforce has been strengthened to enable it to take a more active role in providing an enabling environment and consultative guidance to the horticultural sector in Kenya.

Private-sector members of the taskforce are drawn from various organisations, including the Fresh Produce Exporters Association of Kenya (FPEAK), the Fresh Produce Consortium of Kenya (FPC Kenya), the Kenya Flower Council (KFC), and the Agrochemicals Association of Kenya (AAK).

The government presence in the taskforce includes representation from the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Cooperatives (MALFC); the Ministry of Health (Public Health — Food Safety Unit), the State Department for Trade, and the National Treasury. Government agencies include the Horticultural Crops Directorate (HCD), Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (KEPHIS), Pest Control Products Board (PCPB), Kenya Agricultural & Livestock Research Organization (KALRO), and the Kenya Export Promotion and Branding Agency (KEPROBA). The Council of County Governors is also represented.

Between May and September 2020, COLEACP facilitated consultative meetings of horticulture stakeholders, which resulted in agreement on the need to revamp this taskforce. This followed two earlier multi-stakeholder workshops held in 2019.

The chair is Joshua Oluyali, Head of the MALFC Horticulture Division at the State Department for Crop Development and Agricultural Research.

Representing the private sector as co-chair is Clement Tulezi, CEO, KFC, who says the revamping of the taskforce is an exciting new development that promises to strengthen Kenya’s horticultural sector. “The taskforce will provide an enhanced public-private sector coordination mechanism on strategic and policy issues to adequately address the challenges facing the horticulture industry” (Horticulture News, 30 August 2021).

The taskforce operations are guided by the terms of reference agreed upon by its members in the interest of the stakeholders. Given the importance of horticulture, there are initiatives to have the taskforce established under the law within MALFC to give it a legal mandate.

In the past, the agriculture sector has been disadvantaged by limited data, for example on nutrition, food utilisation, agricultural products, yields and prices. So the taskforce intends to develop an integrated information management system that will process all the data collected along the value chain, linking to existing systems with relevant information on horticulture. The taskforce has created a Data, Information Management, Market Development and Trade Facilitation Committee to guide this process.

This activity is implemented by COLEACP and supported by the NExT Kenya (New Export Trade) programme, established in collaboration with the EU Delegation in Nairobi and Kenyan stakeholders.

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