The EU-EAC Market Access Upgrade Program Closing Event held at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Nairobi, Kenya, brought together over 120 participants from diverse sectors, celebrating the program’s remarkable achievements in enhancing market access and boosting competitiveness within Kenya’s agricultural sector.
The event showcased success stories, with participants from public and private entities, farmers, and journalists, sharing their experiences and insights on how the Market Access Upgrade Program (MARKUP) contributed to increased revenue and exports across different value chains.
Key stakeholders, including representatives from the Government of Kenya, the European Union, and the Chief Technical Advisor of UNIDO, delivered speeches during the Opening Session, emphasizing the significance of expanding market access and promoting competitiveness in Kenya’s export sector.
The event also featured the launch of two manuals and recognized outstanding farmers and media practitioners who demonstrated exceptional resilience, dedication, and commitment to advancing agricultural practices and promoting food safety awareness for positive change.
In the “Focus on Impact” session, various players in the agricultural sector shared their firsthand experiences, highlighting challenges they faced and the interventions implemented through the MARKUP program, resulting in positive outcomes in areas such as innovative seed systems, regulatory reforms, and the use of Podcasts for communication.
The achievements of the MARKUP program in Kenya were highlighted, including support for infrastructure systems, improved market linkages, training of export SMEs, farmers, and producers on market access requirements, advocacy for a unilateral food safety authority, and interventions in plant health and inspection systems.
Mr. Alfred K’ombudo, the Permanent Secretary of the State Department of Trade, praised the program’s positive impact on trade, development, and Kenya’s global competitiveness, underscoring the importance of collaboration, knowledge sharing, and stakeholder involvement.
Looking to the future, Mr. Ali Qazilbash from UNIDO proposed key actions for the Way Forward, focusing on strengthening the regulatory framework, building a resilient private sector through increased agricultural exports, utilizing precision agriculture for decision-making and risk mitigation, and implementing sustainability and communication strategies for energy efficiency and compliance promotion.
Overall, the EU-EAC Market Access Upgrade Program Closing Event provided a platform for knowledge sharing, recognition of achievements, and discussions on further enhancing market access, competitiveness, and sustainability in Kenya’s agricultural sector. With its impactful outcomes, the program promises to drive positive change and support the country’s agricultural growth in the years to come.