The Kenyan Horticulture Council (KHC), supported by SNV’s Kenya Market-led Horticulture Programme (HortIMPACT), is planning to conduct a food safety study in Nairobi County. The study will pinpoint current food safety issues and will provide valuable insights on how to increase the quality and safety of fruits and vegetables in the county.
On 16 October, KHC held an inception workshop at the Jacaranda Hotel in Nairobi, Kenya. The workshop saw the participation of service providers, partner development agencies, researchers, health officials, government representatives, and fruit and vegetable traders. The purpose of the event was to revise, discuss and improve KHC's food safety study.
Lately, consumers, government, private sector and NGOs are more concern about food-related health issues, insufficient consumer awareness and enforcement of food safety regulations in the horticultural markets in Nairobi. In fact, poor consumer awareness and production practices, like inappropriate pesticide spraying techniques, are increasing consumers exposure to unsafe products sold in supermarkets and open markets in the county. Although laws and traceability systems are in place, stakeholders believe that targeted actions and increased cooperation could further improve food safety interventions.
“Food safety is a nation-wide concern", said Joyce Gema from 3R, a learning initiative supported by the Agriculture and Food and Nutrition Security (FNS) program of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. “Without well-informed action, interventions risk to not achieve their objectives.”
During the workshop, participants agreed on the importance of creating synergies among key actors working in the different supply chains of the horticultural market in Kenya. The discussion groups also provided valuable insights on how to increase food security and consumer awareness, improve capacity building of traders and producers, and enforce existing laws and regulations on food security.
In their closing statements, KHC's CEO Jane Ngige and HorIMPACT’s advisor Jack Wanyonyi, emphasized the importance of collaboration among sector leaders. Hoping that the fruitful discussion initiated during the workshop will help improve the production – and thus the results – of KHC’s food safety study.
Blog by: Renán Alejandro Salvador Lozano Cuervo - Communications Intern, Kenya Market-led Horticulture Programme (HortIMPACT)