Stakeholders convene in Nairobi to improve Africa’s perishable exports

The stakeholders amplified the call to create industry collaborations to improve Africa's perishable exports through better logistics network and cold chain infrastructure. PHOTO | Courtesy

Flower Logistics Africa 2018the second edition of Perishable Logistics Africa happened recently in Nairobi, bringing together key stakeholders in the perishables supply chain.

With the theme: “Collaboration: The Road Ahead to Improve Logistics for Africa’s Perishable Produce,” the stakeholders amplified the call to create industry collaborations to improve Africa’s perishable exports through better logistics network and cold chain infrastructure.

The theme on collaboration was timely as earlier in the year, African leaders signed the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), a single market for goods and services in Africa. With this FTA, the market size is expected to include 1.7 billion people with over US$ 6.7 trillion of cumulative consumer and business spending by 2030.

Integration between small scale holder farmers was identified as key to achieving value preposition throughout all conversations.

Speaking on the topic, Dr. Isaac Macharia, the General Manager for phytosanitary services in Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (KEPHIS) said: “We train and advise small scale and aspiring farmers on how to access and prepare for the market by providing them with market dynamics. We also link them with associations of help in the supply chain.” Wouter Boekee, the Global Industry Manager for Agriculture and Fresh, Lufthansa Cargo added to the conversation by saying, “All partners in the supply food chain need to more open with their processes. This will give us better insights on the farmers & seasons to prepare adequately.”

PLA also discussed on how regional and global trade agreements can improve Africa’s prospects to become a leader in perishables export.

“We support the delegations that bring about the existing trade agreements that help remove tariffs & taxes,” said Alice Wanjiru Mathenge, the Managing Director of Spring Fresh Growers & Exporters. He further noted: “They are our core reason for trading with great margins & profits.”

Inspired by the Agenda 2063 of the African Union (AU), Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM), which was launched to liberalize and unify the African skies, PLA held vibrant discussions on shipper’s expectations versus air cargo value proposition in perishable transport by air.

Jane Ngige, the National Coordinator for Kenya Horticultural Council was keen to note that better information and communication is needed to keep upto date with the dynamics of logistics.

 

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