National Horticulture Traceability System (NHTS) Business Plan Consultative Forum

The horticulture industry in Kenya witnessed yet another significant milestone following a NHTS Business Consultative Forum held on 9th November, 2017 at a Nairobi hotel. The objective of the meeting was to discuss the HTS Business Plan- its sustainability.

The meeting was convened by HCD and facilitated by USAID-KAVES through the Kenya Flower Council in collaboration with FPEAK and KEFE. It was attended by HCD, KEPHIS, USAID-KAVES and County Governments representative among others.Presenters included representatives from the Horticulture Crop Directorate.

HCD appreciated the USAID KAVES for funding the system saying that the initiative started two years ago following the numerous interceptions of Kenya’s Horticultural produce at the EU market.

To instill confidence to consumers the Government with the assistance of USAID KAVES initiated the NHTS project piloting with 12 companies including two flower farms. He said that the reason for the meeting was to deliberate on how the system can be adopted by the industry.  The system is set to be rolled out to all export companies across the country in the long run.

KEPHIS enumerated the services offered to the industry by his institution and welcomed the system saying it will go a long way to ensure exporters comply with market requirements.

The Kenya Flower Council exhorted exporters to adopt traceability.  It gave the genesis of the NHTS saying that it was a result of the myriad interceptions and there was need to find a way of dealing with them.  It  said the system will weed out rogue famers and ensure sustainability of the industry.

 

Kenya Fruits & Vegetables Exporters (KEFE) 

It  noted with happiness that the process which was prompted by the interceptions crisis is now at the tail end.  It expressed profuse gratitude to USAID KAVES for funding the process. 

It  emphasized that sustainability of the project is key as the development partner is soon leaving.  He said the industry is committed to the cause of NHTS and urged all actors in the horticulture space to ensure that the system is taken up positively and that the anticipated investment in the system is a small price to pay vis a vis the  benefits that will accrue from implementing the system. 

It  called for the integration of existing systems into the NHTS, e.g the ‘e’ phyto, KS 1758 I & II.

It  stressed that in investing in the system the industry gives the country an opportunity to brand itself as a source of quality products and that it will be a first for Kenya.

 

Outgoing Nyandarua County CEC 

It was reported that Agriculture is the backbone of Kenya’s economy contributing 25% of the country’s GDP.  She noted that horticulture contributes 36% of the Agriculture GDP.  She noted 6.5 million Kenyans are employed in the sector.  That production is mainly by smallholder farmers thus contributing significantly in poverty alleviation especially in rural areas.  She observed that the sector generated 101 billion KES last year (2016). 

The representative added that the markets are regulated by stringent requirements which Kenya must meet to enhance and sustain market access.  She said that Counties have been supporting farmers to comply and hence traceability is thus a critical step to achieve market access. 

She thanked USAID KAVES for funding the NHTS.  She also thanked HCD, KEPHIS, and PCPB, Ministry of Agriculture Livestock and Fisheries (MOALF) and the farmers currently piloting the product. 

She noted that the product will increase confidence in Kenya’s products in the market-that the horticultural produce from Kenya is compliant to standards and food safety requirements.  That  this will in turn increase trade between Kenya and the World. 

She called upon all players in  the horticulture value chain to support the NHTS.  She noted that individual companies have their own traceability system and urged them to look at the greater good of selling one system to the market-branding Kenya as a source of quality and safe produce.  She ended by saying that regulators have played their role and now the ball is in the farmers’ court. 

HCD representative 

HCD noted that the main ingredients of the system are a smart phone and a printer and only then can one download the application.  It  noted that the system is composed of  several modules including Exporter, HCD,KEPHIS,Consumer. 

It  reiterated the significance of horticulture to Kenya’s economy and added that the major destination is the European Union. 

It  enumerated the challenges facing the industry including non-compliance and interceptions. 

It  noted that previously the movement of produce was uncontrolled and unmonitored-that it was not possible to trace produce from the EU market- in case of a notification- to Kenyan farms but with the introduction of the NHTS this is now possible. 

It observed that the system provides unique codes to  farmers and can be able to isolate and identify  uniquely all farms in Kenya who are registered in the system.  It  said the system can comfortably accommodate a million farmers. 

It narrated the benefits of the stem as: 

1.  Geo references farms and blocks within farm and data is captured instantly 

2.  All farm inputs and other details e.g pesticide usage are captured in the system 

3. Gives early warning, rapid alert system and effective recall for corrective action 

4. Strengthens export certification system 

5. Facilitates Government inspection 

6. Instills confidence 

7.  Transparency & accountability of Kenyan horticulture produce 

 

He said exporters will benefit as follows 

I  earlier visility of harvested crop 

ii. live updates of field activities 

iii. ease of acquiring certification 

iv.. ease of audit process 

It  said the scope of the system will be expanded to cover the local produce too in the near future.  He said the system will be integrated with labs  where inspectors will be able to send samples directly from the phone and get results online. 

It  noted that  currently 1,266 farms are registered in HCD database and there are 60 collection centers countrywide.  He said that HCD has already equipped 16 packhouses with printers and currently 12 farms including 2 flower farms are piloting the system.  It was reported that  HCD targets all exporters to be in the system soon.

 

USAID-KAVES 

USAID-KAVES noted that  few commercial systems exist in the market but none fitted the EU regulations and HCD expressed concern over this and approached USAID KAVES.  It noted that over 400 companies registered to offer the system but none met the required threshold. 

It observed that the system does not intend to police the industry and neither will it increase costs.  That the objective of USAID-KAVES is: 

i.. reduce costs 

ii.  enhance competitiveness 

iii. enables small farmers access markets 

iv. those following regulations should not suffer because of those who do  not 

It urged exporters to support the implementation of the system as USAID-KAVES is exiting the stage come  12th January 2018.  It  asked exporters to consider the cost of implementing the system as opposed to the cost of not implanting it and most importantly to deliberate on how it will be implemented.

 

Tim Dimestre-USAID KAVES Consultant 

Mr Tim made a comprehensive presentation on the NHTS business plan.  He asked actors to design a framework that will make the system work-the roles of individuals/institutions, management structure, financing and available options around financing.  He noted that there is general consensus that to have an efficient and effective traceability system in place is essential, that it should be self-regulating, that it should  be managed within the private sector, that it should be responsive and operate 24 hours a day seven days a week all year round. 

He took participants through the various laws and regulations stressing the need for traceability-these are found in the Horticultural Code of Practice,  Crops Act sec 40, MOU with HCD, among others. 

He said the the main benefit of the NHTS is creating confidence and trust in the market. 

He said the characteristics of a good NHTS encompass trust thus: 

i. managed by an independent body 

ii. ability to be integrated with other systems 

iii. customer focused 

iv. well resourced and efficient 

v. adds value to the industry 

vii. brand Kenya 

viii.  increases market share 

ix. opening up of new markets 

x. easier to comply with 

He said that not having a credible system may lead to bankruptcy of companies, business closures, market loss and brand damage. 

He then presented the business plan and offered various management options and structures. 

Management options included: 

i. private company that has expertise to run the system 

ii. Public company 

iii. Private sector

 

Options for financing were listed as: 

i. point of collection- fixed charge based o tonnage 

ii. Government through the Treasury 

iii. Exporters contributions 

vi. Voluntary contributions

 

CLOSING REMARKS & RESOLUTIONS

  1. Custodian of the system will be HCD
  2. The management of the system will be jointly by KHC and the regulators using the HCAS model.
  3. It will be financed by exporters based on tonnage

National Horticulture Traceability System (NHTS) Business Plan Consultative Forum

The horticulture industry in Kenya witnessed yet another significant milestone following a NHTS Business Consultative Forum held on 9th November, 2017 at a Nairobi hotel. The objective of the meeting was to discuss the HTS Business Plan- its sustainability.

The meeting was convened by HCD and facilitated by USAID-KAVES through the Kenya Flower Council in collaboration with FPEAK and KEFE. It was attended by HCD, KEPHIS, USAID-KAVES and County Governments representative among others.Presenters included representatives from the Horticulture Crop Directorate.

HCD appreciated the USAID KAVES for funding the system saying that the initiative started two years ago following the numerous interceptions of Kenya’s Horticultural produce at the EU market.

To instill confidence to consumers the Government with the assistance of USAID KAVES initiated the NHTS project piloting with 12 companies including two flower farms. He said that the reason for the meeting was to deliberate on how the system can be adopted by the industry.  The system is set to be rolled out to all export companies across the country in the long run.

KEPHIS enumerated the services offered to the industry by his institution and welcomed the system saying it will go a long way to ensure exporters comply with market requirements.

The Kenya Flower Council exhorted exporters to adopt traceability.  It gave the genesis of the NHTS saying that it was a result of the myriad interceptions and there was need to find a way of dealing with them.  It  said the system will weed out rogue famers and ensure sustainability of the industry.

 

Kenya Fruits & Vegetables Exporters (KEFE) 

It  noted with happiness that the process which was prompted by the interceptions crisis is now at the tail end.  It expressed profuse gratitude to USAID KAVES for funding the process. 

It  emphasized that sustainability of the project is key as the development partner is soon leaving.  He said the industry is committed to the cause of NHTS and urged all actors in the horticulture space to ensure that the system is taken up positively and that the anticipated investment in the system is a small price to pay vis a vis the  benefits that will accrue from implementing the system. 

It  called for the integration of existing systems into the NHTS, e.g the ‘e’ phyto, KS 1758 I & II.

It  stressed that in investing in the system the industry gives the country an opportunity to brand itself as a source of quality products and that it will be a first for Kenya.

 

Outgoing Nyandarua County CEC 

It was reported that Agriculture is the backbone of Kenya’s economy contributing 25% of the country’s GDP.  She noted that horticulture contributes 36% of the Agriculture GDP.  She noted 6.5 million Kenyans are employed in the sector.  That production is mainly by smallholder farmers thus contributing significantly in poverty alleviation especially in rural areas.  She observed that the sector generated 101 billion KES last year (2016). 

The representative added that the markets are regulated by stringent requirements which Kenya must meet to enhance and sustain market access.  She said that Counties have been supporting farmers to comply and hence traceability is thus a critical step to achieve market access. 

She thanked USAID KAVES for funding the NHTS.  She also thanked HCD, KEPHIS, and PCPB, Ministry of Agriculture Livestock and Fisheries (MOALF) and the farmers currently piloting the product. 

She noted that the product will increase confidence in Kenya’s products in the market-that the horticultural produce from Kenya is compliant to standards and food safety requirements.  That  this will in turn increase trade between Kenya and the World. 

She called upon all players in  the horticulture value chain to support the NHTS.  She noted that individual companies have their own traceability system and urged them to look at the greater good of selling one system to the market-branding Kenya as a source of quality and safe produce.  She ended by saying that regulators have played their role and now the ball is in the farmers’ court. 

HCD representative 

HCD noted that the main ingredients of the system are a smart phone and a printer and only then can one download the application.  It  noted that the system is composed of  several modules including Exporter, HCD,KEPHIS,Consumer. 

It  reiterated the significance of horticulture to Kenya’s economy and added that the major destination is the European Union. 

It  enumerated the challenges facing the industry including non-compliance and interceptions. 

It  noted that previously the movement of produce was uncontrolled and unmonitored-that it was not possible to trace produce from the EU market- in case of a notification- to Kenyan farms but with the introduction of the NHTS this is now possible. 

It observed that the system provides unique codes to  farmers and can be able to isolate and identify  uniquely all farms in Kenya who are registered in the system.  It  said the system can comfortably accommodate a million farmers. 

It narrated the benefits of the stem as: 

1.  Geo references farms and blocks within farm and data is captured instantly 

2.  All farm inputs and other details e.g pesticide usage are captured in the system 

3. Gives early warning, rapid alert system and effective recall for corrective action 

4. Strengthens export certification system 

5. Facilitates Government inspection 

6. Instills confidence 

7.  Transparency & accountability of Kenyan horticulture produce 

 

He said exporters will benefit as follows 

I  earlier visility of harvested crop 

ii. live updates of field activities 

iii. ease of acquiring certification 

iv.. ease of audit process 

It  said the scope of the system will be expanded to cover the local produce too in the near future.  He said the system will be integrated with labs  where inspectors will be able to send samples directly from the phone and get results online. 

It  noted that  currently 1,266 farms are registered in HCD database and there are 60 collection centers countrywide.  He said that HCD has already equipped 16 packhouses with printers and currently 12 farms including 2 flower farms are piloting the system.  It was reported that  HCD targets all exporters to be in the system soon.

 

USAID-KAVES 

USAID-KAVES noted that  few commercial systems exist in the market but none fitted the EU regulations and HCD expressed concern over this and approached USAID KAVES.  It noted that over 400 companies registered to offer the system but none met the required threshold. 

It observed that the system does not intend to police the industry and neither will it increase costs.  That the objective of USAID-KAVES is: 

i.. reduce costs 

ii.  enhance competitiveness 

iii. enables small farmers access markets 

iv. those following regulations should not suffer because of those who do  not 

It urged exporters to support the implementation of the system as USAID-KAVES is exiting the stage come  12th January 2018.  It  asked exporters to consider the cost of implementing the system as opposed to the cost of not implanting it and most importantly to deliberate on how it will be implemented.

 

Tim Dimestre-USAID KAVES Consultant 

Mr Tim made a comprehensive presentation on the NHTS business plan.  He asked actors to design a framework that will make the system work-the roles of individuals/institutions, management structure, financing and available options around financing.  He noted that there is general consensus that to have an efficient and effective traceability system in place is essential, that it should be self-regulating, that it should  be managed within the private sector, that it should be responsive and operate 24 hours a day seven days a week all year round. 

He took participants through the various laws and regulations stressing the need for traceability-these are found in the Horticultural Code of Practice,  Crops Act sec 40, MOU with HCD, among others. 

He said the the main benefit of the NHTS is creating confidence and trust in the market. 

He said the characteristics of a good NHTS encompass trust thus: 

i. managed by an independent body 

ii. ability to be integrated with other systems 

iii. customer focused 

iv. well resourced and efficient 

v. adds value to the industry 

vii. brand Kenya 

viii.  increases market share 

ix. opening up of new markets 

x. easier to comply with 

He said that not having a credible system may lead to bankruptcy of companies, business closures, market loss and brand damage. 

He then presented the business plan and offered various management options and structures. 

Management options included: 

i. private company that has expertise to run the system 

ii. Public company 

iii. Private sector

 

Options for financing were listed as: 

i. point of collection- fixed charge based o tonnage 

ii. Government through the Treasury 

iii. Exporters contributions 

vi. Voluntary contributions

 

CLOSING REMARKS & RESOLUTIONS

  1. Custodian of the system will be HCD
  2. The management of the system will be jointly by KHC and the regulators using the HCAS model.
  3. It will be financed by exporters based on tonnage

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