The National Horticulture Taskforce has launched Good Agricultural Practice (GAP) guides for avocado, and beans and peas in pods. The guidelines are intended to help Kenyan farmers address challenges that bedevil Kenya’s horticultural produce’s commercial quality, and the regulatory requirements around the industry.
These guides, additionally, seek to enhance knowledge on the required good practices that horticulture stakeholders can adopt to ensure supply of quality horticultural produce at national, regional, and international levels as the produce goes to markets.
These horticulture guidelines were developed by the taskforce that constituted different stakeholders from both the private and public sectors in the country’s horticultural industry.
Kenya Flower Council chief executive officer, Clement Tulezi, who chaired the taskforce in its development of the guidelines indicated that the guides couldn’t have come at a better time as the country’s horticulture industry grapples with a host of challenges.
Compliance with sanitary and phytosanitary requirements, presence of harmful organisms, exceedance of maximum residue limits for pesticides, handling, use of quality and true-to-type planting materials and adoption of good hygiene practices, have for long been challenges that affect the sub-sector.
“Farmers have also been harvesting immature avocadoes which has led to flagging of the avocado exports in the niche markets. This is among the biggest challenges affecting the sub-sector. The good practice guides contain strategies on addressing these challenges,” Mr. Tulezi said during the launch of the guidelines. “Despite being a market leader in avocado production continentally, we only export 15 percent of the avocado that we produce across the country.”