The Kenyan Fresh Produce Consortium (FCO) has backed plans to make Eldoret International Airport a key export hub to regional and international markets. According to FCO Chief Executive Officer Okisegere Ojepat, the industry is committed to ensure export of fresh produce from the North Rift-based airport resumes as early as March 2021. The lobby group expects the move to open up productive areas in North Rift and help increase revenue, create job opportunities and diversify export base
“We want to open up and increase exportable agricultural production in the region which will not only increase revenue for the counties, but also to the entire country as well as opening up job opportunities for the youth and women and to diversify the kind of business we are doing,” Ojepat told kbc.co.ke.
Speaking in Eldoret during fresh produce stakeholders meeting, Ojepat said they were targeting to start with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) that already has two scheduled weekly flights to Eldoret Airport that unfortunately return empty.
“We want to ensure when the planes go back they are loaded with flowers, fruits, vegetables, spices, and herbs from the region,” he added.
Ojepat called on the NOREB counties to organise smallholder farmers into groups to ensure sustainability and continuous production of fresh produce. “We want to encourage farmers in this region to return to their farms and increase the production of fruits, vegetables, herbs, spices, flowers, and even fish and meat because there is a readily available market.”
Photo source: En.wikipedia.org