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Kenyan flower and vegetable farmers to learn new ways to make money in farming at trade trip in Netherlands

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Frmers learning on various farming practices during a past agricultural show. Kenyan farmers especially from horticulture sector are set to benefit from a trade mission in Netherlands come June this year. Photo: courtecy.

Changemaker International and Capacity Africa have organized a trade mission for Kenyan agribusiness stakeholders to Netherlands to study innovative food production systems and agricultural export models. 

The three-day mission, slated  between June 11-15th  this year,  with a strong emphasis on horticulture but incorporating general agribusiness seeks to expose  Kenya   to the world’s best developed and  sustainable economy driven by innovative agribusiness production, said  spokesperson John Karegwa, in a statement.

Other partners include Greentech Trade Expo, biggest horticultural trade show in the world (www.greentech.nl) and the Netherlands Export Combination (NEC).

“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”, Mr. Karegwa added. 

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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 Netherlands as well as technical assistance.

Trade volumes between the two countries stood at Sh60bn in 2016 with Netherlands being the third largest trading partner for Kenya.  Key Kenyan exports to Netherlands include horticulture with Kenya importing machinery, chemicals and services.

Netherlands is the second largest exporter and importer of agribusiness products and has positioned itself as a world leader in cutting edge agricultural innovations.

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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 per cent of the population depending on it for survival while contributing 65 per cent 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.

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Other key events planned during the visit include 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 learn from the rest of the world how to maximize innovations and produce cost effectively.

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