Kenya launches tracking system for horticultural products
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.