Kenyan horticulture 50 years in retrospect
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Kenyan Horticulture, 50 years, in retrospect…. Presentation by Hasit Shah (Tiku) Managing Director: Sunripe Kenya; Terra Fleur; Koppert Biological Systems Kenya; Serengeti Fresh Tanzania Chairman: Fresh Produce Exporters Association of Kenya

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Kenyan Horticulture, 50 years, in retrospect…

Presentation by

Hasit Shah (Tiku)

Managing Director: Sunripe Kenya; Terra Fleur; Koppert Biological Systems Kenya; Serengeti Fresh Tanzania

Chairman: Fresh Produce Exporters Association of Kenya

Director : Horticultural Crop Development Authority Kenya

Director : COLEACP

Chairman : Horticultural Board, Export Promotion Council, Kenya

Feb 2007

World Bank Global Forum on Building Science, Technology & Innovation Capacity

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Kenya : An Overview

Land area: 580,000 sq. km

  • Location: East coast of Africa.

  • Population: Approx. 33 million(2005)

    • Diverse mix of ethnic backgrounds

    • Includes 42 native tribes, people of European,

      Asian and Arab origin.

  • GDP : US$ 17 Billion

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  • Main export products & values (2006)

    • Tourism: US$ 800 million

    • Horticulture: US$ 630 million

    • Tea: US$ 500 million

    • Coffee: US$ 120 million

  • Horticulture directly provides employment to 100,000 people, primarily women, employs university graduates and indirectly supports close to 1 million individuals & dependants.

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In a nutshell

Kenya has an amazing climate & a range of ecological zones that allows year round production of a number of agricultural crops. The first settlers planted Coffee, Tea, Sisal, Sugar Cane, Cotton, Rice, Wheat & Maize and this led to the establishment of large estates and strong agriculture learning institutions. Del Monte then set up their Pineapple plantation for processed pineapple in the mid 1950’s

1963 : Post Independence Migration to the UK led to establishment of two way trade & entrepreneurs identified opportunities to supply indigenous vegetables to migrants

1970’s-80’s : Significant growth due to favourable domestic policies for exports & a growing demand for fresh produce

1990’s & the new millenium : Rationalization in the industry due to international competition, higher costs of production & the drive for food safety, quality & emerging standards leads to a consolidation of the industry & a focus on value addition to produce top-end high products

  • One in every three roses sold in the European Union is Kenyan

2006 Top end, value addition

70’s : Bulk product

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Reasons for Success: Global Trends

  • Globalization

    • As links (physical & trade agreements) between countries develop new markets open up

  • A move from first world countries to developing countries of labour intensive industries & un-processed agricultural production

  • Bilaterals & Preferential access treaties (Lome & Cotonu)

  • Quality Standards & Certifications

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Reasons for Success: Government

  • Political Stability

  • Land ownership & tenure

  • Reasonably good infrastructure:

    • Airport, ports and cargo handling facilities, banking

    • Energy, roads, telecommunications

  • Fair water resources management policy

  • Market oriented economy & export policies – the sector's gradual development has been aided by

    • sound economic management,

    • realistic exchange rate & no exchange control,

    • stable policies with incentives & remissions on inputs for export

    • a good investment climate

    • Access to finance

    • multiracial non secular society that encourages foreign investors

    • The development of other sectors [tourism & manufacturing]

    • Constant dialogue between the Government. The Private Sector & Development Partners

      -all important for both foreign & local investors, producer & exporters

  • Hands off / Non intervention policy in Horticulture production & marketing (unlike coffee, tea, pyrethrum etc)

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Reasons for Success: Government …contd.

  • Establishment of competent authorities that provide, in conjunction with the industry,

    • Farmer training & extension services

    • Market linkages for small holders to high value urban and export markets

  • Comprehensive labour laws

  • Improved health services & institutions

  • A strong & respected SPS institution

  • Investment in primary, secondary & tertiary education

    • Set-up of agriculture & technology oriented local universities that has led to an excellent resource pool of competent graduates

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Reasons for Success: Private Sector

  • A dynamic private sector identified production & supply opportunities for fresh grown fruit & vegetables

  • As factors continued to change & as demand evolved the sector was quick to respond to changing consumer preferences & to international competition. This was achieved by

    • The ability to produce & supply existing & new markets year round

    • Heavy investment into

      • new technologies in greenhouses,

      • growing media

      • irrigation systems,

      • R& D into new varieties, crops, plant material & seed,

      • Sophisticated agro-inputs,

      • Improved long life (modified atmosphere) packaging,

      • Sophisticated machinery for bouquets making & food processing

      • Putting in place a robust cold chain which is crucial for fresh perishable products

      • Research into alternative transport and reefers by sea

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Reasons for Success: Private Sector

  • The world is our market & open interaction & dialogue between producers & the market is on-going. There is also significant investment in skilled foreign labour to train Kenyans in new products & technologies. This combined with focused training from some of our local institutions (JKUCAT) continues to build local capacity. Kenyan managers now run farms in Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Morocco & Egypt!

  • Created Strong lobbies: Fresh Produce Exporters Association; Kenya Flower Council to work closely with government & development partners to ensure that a conducive environment exists for continued development of the sector. Both associations have come up with self regulating industry Codes of Practice that meet & supersede local & international legislation. The advantage is that these are reviewed annually as opposed to legislation that never moves. Product from Kenya is compliant to EU /US Food Safety legislation, meets labour & environment standards & most important is sustainable.

  • Included contract & small scale farmers in supply programs

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Reasons for Success: Support Industries

  • A pro-active supply and manufacturing sector that reacted quickly to exporters needs to provide quality inputs

  • Kenya is big in tourism and the entry point for east & central Africa – This provided cargo capacity & links to all international markets

  • An established banking & insurance sector is essential for credit, trade and financial instruments

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The future : What Governments and Development Partners should focus on?

  • Continued investment in infrastructure & reliable supply of power & utilities

  • Build capacity within governments to ensure that competent support institutions & negotiating bodies are in place to continue developing market access & bi-lateral trade agreements with other nations

  • Encourage external investors and partners

  • Work on programs that allow affordable credit to business

  • Allow freer & less restricted movement of people

  • Continue to facilitate rather than regulate sectors

  • Increase investment & funding of R & D activities both at the universities & research institutions

  • Encourage transfer of new & appropriate technologies that would boost efficiency and cost effectiveness in production

  • Encourage exchange programs between private sectors, government and producers with counter parts in other countries

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The End should focus on?

Thank you