The two day Fruits, Vegetables and Herbs Conference was held on 13th and 14th September 2017 at Kenya School of Monetary Studies. The event had been hosted by KEFE and Fresh Produce Exporters Association of Kenya (FPEAK) and had been sponsored by Global Communities (funded by USDA), USAID, KAVES, SGS Kenya Ltd, SOCAA,SNV,Stanbic Bank, and COLEACAP.It drew participants from public sector, private sector, Investors and the development partners. The conference theme was Enhancing food Safety &Competitiveness for Kenya’s Fruits, Vegetables and Herbs. The first day ‘s discussions and presentations focused on Enhancing food safety while the second day’s discussions and presentations focused on enhancing competitiveness for Kenya’s fruits ,Vegetables and herbs. The opening key address was done by Hon. Willy Bett, the Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture ,Livestock and Fisheries .In his speech the Cabinet Secretary noted that the Ministry was willing to support the achievement of the food safety and ensuring competitiveness of Kenyan fruits , vegetables and herbs.
The closing Key address note was done by Dr. Oluoch Otieno ;CEC Agriculture; Migori County on behalf of the Chair for Agriculture Committee ;Council of Governors; on Okoth Obando who pointed out that the C.OG will ensure that the recommendations Proposed in the forum are fully implemented. During the two days it was unanimously agreed that Policy on food safety exists but the commitment to their implementation is what is lacking and Quality standards also exist in plenty but implementation of the same is also lacking. It was therefore proposed that these policies and quality standards should be trickled down at the County level since Agriculture is devolved and it is possible to reach the grassroots.It also emerged that there is need for consumer demand for safe foodin order to ensure food safety is achieved in the county. Inorder to do this it was noted that there is need for capacity building for all the stakeholders along the value chain. It was concluded by the delegates noting that the entry into the change that they were looking for can only happen at the Council of Governors but since it is a secretariat it should mobilize at that level while implementation can take place at the County Executives level