Kenya’s agricultural exports to the European markets are set to increase the following completion of a Sh250 million laboratory complex that will ensure products meet international standards.
The facility, unveiled on Wednesday, will ensure fertilisers, seeds, soil and water are tested before farmers use them.
The laboratory would also enable safe trade and sustainable agro-environment
for the development of the agricultural sector.
Deputy President William Ruto, while opening the laboratory constructed jointly by Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate (Kephis) and the European Union (EU), said the project was a milestone for the development of the agricultural sector.
He said the laboratory’s completion comes at a time when there is increasing public demand for quality and safe food worldwide.
Ruto said the laboratory complex would ensure the country has good related foods and relieve Kenyans of the fear of the rise of such foods in the country.
Ruto asked exporters and farmers to make use of the facility to access new markets for their produce.
“This laboratory’s value will be measured in what we achieve in exporting food products and the access to markets outside the country for our tea, coffee, flowers among other farm produce,” said Ruto.
Ruto said the Government’s focus remains on the development of the agricultural sector which is a key to the development of the country’s economy.
“We are putting more emphasis on the development of the agricultural sector which remains the engine for the country’s economic growth by coming up with initiatives aimed at adding value to farmers produce,” said Ruto adding that the country’s economic transformation could be enhanced through industrialisation.
The government, he said, would continue to initiate reforms in the agricultural sector especially in the fields of agro-processing, value addition and manufacturing as the only way to increase exports of finished products.
EU Delegation head of development and cooperation Hubert Perr praised its strong ties between Kenya and European countries saying it has greatly helped Kenya meet international requirements in various fields.
“It’s encouraging that Kephis has put in place measures to ensure high quality produce hit the EU markets as well as address non-tariff barriers to survive in the world markets,” said Perr.