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Kenyan agripreneurs looks to Netherlands for lessons in agribusiness innovation, advanced horticulture

Kenyan agribusiness stakeholders will be visiting the Netherlands to study innovative food production systems and agricultural export models in a three-day trade mission, focusing on horticulture but incorporating general agribusiness. According to spokesperson John Karegwa, the trade mission seeks to expose Kenya to the world's best developed and sustainable economy driven by innovative agribusiness production.
“The key objective of the mission is to strengthen local production systems, access to international markets, stimulate local food production and expand investment opportunities in agribusiness,” Karegwa added.

Experts and visionaries from the international horticultural industry, research institutes and governmental institutions will share their insights and experience with the Kenyan delegates. Specific direct benefits are opportunities for financing, subsidies on machinery and equipment; sales contracts from the Netherlands as well as technical assistance.

Trade volumes between the two countries stood at Sh60bn in 2016 with the Netherlands being the third largest trading partner for Kenya. Key Kenyan exports to the Netherlands include horticulture with Kenya importing machinery, chemicals and services. The Netherlands is the second largest exporter and importer of agribusiness products and has positioned itself as a world leader in cutting-edge agricultural innovations.

Why the Netherlands?

Netherlands is a tiny country of 42 km² but is the second largest exporter of agricultural produce after the US. It is the hub of advanced horticultural development for more than 50 years and provides the best lessons for developing agriculture economies like Kenya’s.

While Kenya counts on agriculture for contribution to household and national incomes, with 80% of the population depending on it for survival while contributing 65% of all foreign earnings, the sector remains heavily underdeveloped with harvest wastage, poor marketing, low uptake of technology and weather changes conspiring to rob farmers’ earnings across the value chain.

The trade and investment mission, therefore, hopes to attract buyers and investors to Kenya even as it showcases the milestones in the sector. Participants will benefit from information sharing, market access and potential financial support.

Participants will also visit GreenTech Expo in Amsterdam, one of the leading horticulture and agribusiness exhibitions in the world with over 5,000 exhibitors, buyers, suppliers and investors in the sector. Other key events planned during the visit include a business workshop on industry best practices and opportunities available, matchmaking of Kenyan potential investors, buyers and suppliers, visiting horticultural farms and factories outside Amsterdam and business-to-business networking forums, among other activities. The idea is to allow participants to learn from the rest of the world how to maximise innovations and produce cost-effectively.

For more information visit Invest in Kenya.

The trade mission is slated between June 11-15th and organised by Changemaker International and Capacity Africa. Other partners include Greentech Trade Expo and the Netherlands Export Combination (NEC).