Kenya has in recent years focused on the development and improvement of their infrastructure. With success. The export of agricultural produce has received a serious boost. “At the moment Kenya is the logistical hub for the whole of East Africa” shares the Agricultural Counselor, Mrs. Ingrid Korving. Who is as the Agricultural Counselor from the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality responsible for Kenya and Tanzania.
COVID-19 has a big impact in Kenya and Tanzania. Especially in the first months the impact was huge. Air traffic came to an abrupt halt, which meant that the export of flowers almost stopped.
Mrs. Ingrid Korving: “The dependence of export on air traffic was immediately visible. Pack houses were full and products had to be destroyed. It was a threatening time for the sector.” Thanks to consultation with the other European member states, airlines and the Kenyan Government we booked results. Passenger flights were transformed into transport for agricultural products. “My agricultural team was closely involved. There was a need for export to continue, as this sector is crucial for employment. We had to improvise, but the export slowly picked up again.” We have now entered into dialogue with the involved parties on how the risks can be spread. The export of agricultural produce is too dependent on air traffic, making trade in times like these vulnerable. “Opportunities for sea freight are now being explored. Some companies are already testing with the shipment of roses and carnations via sea to Europe. Currently it takes about four weeks for produce to arrive in Europe by sea, which means this is not a viable option for all products. Ensuring quality is a priority. Transport by sea requires development of new varieties, which have a longer shelf-life/ vase-life. Dutch breeders can play a role in this.”
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