Nairobi, November 24, 2017. Demand for agricultural produce has over the years experienced a steady growth especially for international market but has faced lots of red lights due to poor or unmet standards with some products having to face partial ban. With agriculture being the backbone of the country’s economy, the laboratory comes as a relief to the sector as it will ensure that produce from Kenya meets the required international standards.
The facility that was unveiled by Deputy President William Ruto was completed at a cost of Ksh.250 million and has come in handy to help address challenges related to quality standards.
Kenya now has a facility where testing of fertilizers, seeds, soil and water can be carried out before being used by farmers. This will also facilitate the production of healthy plants, sustainable agro-environment and safe trade. The laboratory is also set to test genetically modified organism hence it will relieve Kenyans from the fear of dealing with them.
While launching the laboratory complex constructed by Kenya Plant Health and Inspectorate Service (KEPHIS) and European Union (EU), Deputy President William Ruto said the project was a milestone to the development of agricultural sector. He added that the complex will see that the nation has good and quality seeds, fertilizers, soil and water to improve production and this will lead to higher exports to European market and the world.
The launch had a delegation from European union in attendance. Hubert Perr who is head of development and cooperation of European union said that ties between Kenya and European countries is greatly helping Kenya meet international trade requirements. He also added that European union will continue to work closely with KEPHIS to enable more agricultural produce access European market
The permanent Secretary in the department of agriculture, Prof. Richard Lesiyampe said that the government is putting more emphasis on development of horticulture sector which contribute 8% of nation GDP. He also added that they are putting measures aimed at ensuring access to market across the globe.