Fruits and Vegetables Training on Standards and Food Handling/Safety
The first F&V training of the year was held on Tuesday 29th – 30th March 2016 at Qaribu Inn – Nairobi, Kenya. The Sector Desk leader – Mrs. Eunice Mwongera was the programme coordinator for the two days. She began by giving a brief of AAA to the members present, the structure and the transition from CoPs to Sector Desks.
The first main presentation of the training was on Standards and this was conducted by Mr. Eric Were from Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (KEPHIS). The trainer took time to elaborate in detail the functions of KEPHIS, regulations, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), quality and standardization, general marketing standard and theInspection process. He highlighted the main exports of fruits as avocadoes, mangoes, pineapples, passion fruits and for vegetables they include: French beans, runner beans, snow peas and Asian vegetables. He also discussed the KEBS code for horticultural industry – 1758:2004. The members learnt that standards are an important instrument in private sector development and in allowing developing countries to integrate into global supply chains.
There was also a presentation done by Mr, Ngila Kimotho of Dryland Seed Ltd. On seedlings varieties and selection for pawpaws. Mr. Ngila is one of the founding members of AAA and the Sector desk leader for Seed and Agri-Inputs. He explained that the company specialized in seeds for cabbage, onion, sweet pepper, pumpkin, cauliflower, papaya, tomato and other crops. He also encouraged members to participate and show enthusiasm for training sessions organized by AAA as they were of immense benefit in growing their knowledge and networks.
The second main presentation of the training was on Food Handling & Safety and this was conducted by Mr. James Kamau from Horticultural Crops Development Authority (HCDA) – Kenya. He mainly discussed the Horticulture industry code of practice for fruits and vegetables. The Kenyan code stipulates the hygienic and safety requirements during the production, handling and marketing of fruits and vegetables. The standard also considers the safety of workers and consumers in the industry. He also trained the members on records and documentation, plant nutrition and fertilizer usage, pest and disease management, storage of pesticides, biologicals, harvest and postharvest handling of produce, pack house procedures among other sub topics.
There was also a lively presentation done by Mr. Joshua Musyoka of Meru Greens Ltd. On paw paws. He explained that the company specialized in seeds for cabbage, onion, sweet pepper, pumpkin, cauliflower, papaya, tomato and other crops. He surprised members with the reality of realizing 700kgs per acre in one week!
The members were also taken on a company visit to Keitt Fresh Limited. A company that deals in the packaging and exporting of avocados and mangoes based on Mombasa Road, Nairobi – Kenya. Mr. Isaac Mwangi, a director at the company took the members round the pack house, and cold rooms. The members were able to get first hand practical solutions and interaction.
Also Present during the training and company visit was Ms. Mildred Mugambi, AAA Communication Officer and Samuel Kabiru, Kenya Country Coordinator.
For more information on the trainings conducted please contact:
Mr. Eric Were
Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (KEPHIS)
Tel; +254 722 957 809
Mr. James Kamau Paul
Horticultural Crops Development Authority (HCDA) – Kenya
Tel; +254 722 439 128/ 733 370 402
Africa Agribusiness Academy (AAA)
Kenya Country Coordinator
Tel; +254 717 897 912