By MURIMI GITARI
April 3,2019, Nairobi. Agricultural produce in Kenya has undergone inspection check late last month in March and on 1st April when Chinese Inspectors arrived in Nairobi giving the fresh produce market a major step as Kenya will now be able to export to the large Asian market if the certification meets the required health standards and requirements. Kenya exporters will then be able to sell their produce to the populous China.
This comes after a meeting that took place late last year in November between Nairobi and Beijing that inked a Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) deal that was followed by long intense negotiations during the inaugural China International Import Expo in Shanghai which covered more on fresh produce.
Jaswinder Bedi, the Chairman of state-run Export Promotion Council was quoted by a local Kenyan daily saying that there will be a team from China that will be visiting on 27th March this year for final inspection and certification of the produce and will later be good to go as an industry. He added that Kenya will start experiencing a difference in exports, which will increase, due to the fact of market expansion that is set to happen.
Cut flowers, avocadoes, vegetables, mangoes, macadamia and legumes are part of the fresh produce Kenya will be exporting to China. A challenge that made it difficult to export to some countries was due to the technical barriers of trade of stopping exports by these countries.
A statement from the statehouse’s press in November last year noted that Kenya will also be able to export meat, hides and skins, bixa as well as Asian vegetables like chilli and karela.
Mr. Bedi said that this is a big opportunity for the country now that they have signed an SPI with China where we had no access to the market and now they are sensitizing all countries to embrace the same.
Currently the Kenya Export to China stands at Sh 9 billion annually against imports worth sh 390 billion.