NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Kenya has launched a national electronic platform to support
management and sharing of critical supply chain data to increase
transparency and visibility of horticulture.
Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Willy Bett launched the National
Horticulture Traceability System (HTS) that will make it
possible for any shipment that does not comply with market
standards to be traced back to the source on arrival in the
"This is a breakthrough. We had a difficult time in
horticulture rejections at our export zones and airports. I am
happy this problem will be resolved with the launch of this
system," Bett said during the launch in Nairobi late on
Occasionally, shipments of horticulture products are found to
be substandard when they arrive at their destinations overseas.
The cloud-based HTS system can track each of these shipments
back to their source, thus allowing the Kenyan grower to make
the corrections necessary to ensure future products meet market
Bett said the horticulture traceability system ensures
accurate collection, analysis and exchange of critical supply
chain data from production to distribution.
He said the system is critical at a time Kenya is facing a
sharp decline in the multibillion-shilling export horticulture
industry. The export market earned Kenya about 1 billion U.S.
dollars in foreign exchange annually.
The system includes a mobile application to capture and
upload information at the farm and a web reporting portal for
central data storage and sharing.
It also involves a labeling system that produces quick
reference codes that can be read using a mobile phone with a
"The system will not be applied on export products only.
"We will also use it for products meant for local
consumption... because we are also concerned with what our
people eat," Bett said.
Recently, some Kenyan suppliers have faced challenges
complying with EU and international food safety requirements.
The launch of the system comes when the European Union began
mandatory pesticide inspections, leading to rejection of some of
Kenya’s horticultural products.
Kenya Fresh Produce Association chair Apollo Owuor said the
traceability system will be key in signaling that Kenya has
addressed the issue of safety standards.
Owuor said more than 500,000 farmers under the umbrella body
were working with the Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service
and the Kenya Flower Council to ensure horticulture remains a
leading foreign exchange earner.