Kenya launches track­ing sys­tem for hor­ti­cul­tural prod­ucts

The Star (Kenya) - - Politics Ministries -

Kenya yes­ter­day launched a na­tional elec­tronic plat­form to sup­port man­age­ment and shar­ing of crit­i­cal sup­ply chain data to in­crease trans­parency and vis­i­bil­ity of hor­ti­cul­ture. The hor­ti­cul­ture trace­abil­ity sys­tem en­sures ac­cu­rate col­lec­tion, anal­y­sis and ex­change of crit­i­cal sup­ply chain data from pro­duc­tion to dis­tri­bu­tion. Agri­cul­ture CS Willy Bett (pic­tured) said the sys­tem is crit­i­cal at a time Kenya is fac­ing a sharp de­cline in the multi­bil­lion-shilling ex­port hor­ti­cul­ture in­dus­try. The ex­port mar­ket earned Kenya about Sh100 bil­lion in for­eign ex­change. “This is a break­through. We had a dif­fi­cult time in hor­ti­cul­ture re­jec­tions at our ex­port zones and air­ports. I am happy this prob­lem will be re­solved with the launch of this sys­tem,” Bett said at the Kenya Agri­cul­tural and Live­stock Re­search Or­gan­i­sa­tion in Nairobi. The sys­tem in­cludes a mo­bile ap­pli­ca­tion to cap­ture and up­load in­for­ma­tion at the farm and a web re­port­ing por­tal for cen­tral data stor­age and shar­ing. It also in­volves a la­belling sys­tem that pro­duces quick ref­er­ence codes that can be read us­ing a mo­bile phone with a reader. The launch of the sys­tem comes when the Euro­pean Union be­gan manda­tory pes­ti­cide in­spec­tions, lead­ing to re­jec­tion of some of Kenya’s hor­ti­cul­tural prod­ucts. This re­duced prof­its. Kenya’s pro­duce is nor­mally con­sid­ered to have high amounts of pes­ti­cide residue. “The sys­tem will not be ap­plied on ex­port prod­ucts only. We will also use it for prod­ucts meant for lo­cal con­sump­tion... be­cause we are also con­cerned with what our peo­ple eat,” the CS said.

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