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Wednesday, 24 August 2011

East Africa: Producers ease path to EU market with new standards

Horticultural exports are set to grow significantly as local fresh producers benefit from adopting global standards in their production and marketing processes, giving their products easier access to international markets.

Under a Sh5 billion ($65 million) project grant signed with TradeMark East Africa (TMEA) in Nairobi last week, Kenya will lead other horticultural producers in East Africa to develop and implement a regional version of the Global Good Agricultural Practice standards.

The regional quality benchmark called the East Africa Good Agricultural Practice standards (EAGAP) will come up with uniform quality management, production techniques, and regulatory services for the region. […]

In spite of the economic turbulence that hit its key markets in the Europe - ranging from slow recovery from global financial crisis and the Icelandic volcanic eruption that cut off links with markets - horticulture still emerged as the second highest source of foreign exchange in 2010.

Fresh produce exporters brought in Sh76 billion, beating tourism, which recorded annual earning of Sh78 billion but lagged behind tea which topped the season's export earnings with Sh97 billion. […]

European buyers - market for 80 per cent of Kenya's fresh produce - demand audit systems that trace the origins of agricultural produce from planting to the time the harvest gets to the market.Industry statistics indicate that about 40 per cent of fresh produce harvested annually is lost due to post harvest spoilage.

Source: www.allafrica.com