Kenya plans to enhance its food safety in order to boost agricultural exports, a government official said.
Joseph Kirubi, secretary of administration at the state department of crops, Ministry of Agriculture said in Nairobi that the country’s food safety will be strengthened to be aligned with the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, World Health Organisation and the World Trade Organisation agreements.
“Government will emphasize on a risk based approach to food safety control and shall require all actors along the food value chain from farm to fork to be accountable,” said Kirubi during a food safety conference.
According to the ministry of agriculture, food exports account for over 50% of the country’s total exports.
Kirubi added that improved food safety systems will ensure agricultural exports are not intercepted at international borders due to noncompliance to international food safety standards.
He observed that the government is keen to protect public health and promote trade in safe food in a manner consistent with international requirements through harmonizing interagency efforts.
“It is paramount that Kenya has robust sanitary and phytosanitary measures to ensure human, animal and plant health are protected,” he added.
The official noted that increased demand for food coupled with reduction of arable land and water has led to adoption of technologies of agricultural products and enhanced trade which requires adequate monitoring of biological, chemical and physical food hazards.
Kirubi observed that inadequate food standards will undermine Kenya’s competitiveness in international food trade.
Kenya to enhance food safety to boost exports