Regaining and building consumer trust and confidence in Kenya’s smallholder farmers by working with the entrepreneurs that want to do things differently. By different, we mean developing a marketplace where trade is based on compliance, food safety and trust. By working with strategic partners across the entire value chain, we will develop inclusive demand-driven models for safe food, traceability, certification and professionalism.
Globally, agriculture is the second biggest driver of climate change related emissions and represents about one-quarter of total annual greenhouse gas emissions. At the same time, there are more than 800 million people hungry at present and more mouths need to be fed in the future. Agriculture is the backbone of the Kenyan economy, contributing to around 30% of GDP and providing employment to almost 70% of the economically active population. Horticulture contributes to food security and household incomes of the majority of Kenyan producers. Smallholder farmers are responsible for around 75% of agricultural produce and 50% of what is offered on the market.
However, in Kenya, the majority of smallholder farmers’ productivity is low and inconsistent. Smallholder farmers cannot deliver a consistent safe supply of their produce, significantly limiting their ability to obtain better prices and sustainable market access. This limits their willingness and capacity to invest or adopt new technologies, resulting in little value addition. This creates a vicious cycle of low-quality products with poor prices. There is ample space for malpractice in the production and distribution of agricultural food, making the produce prone to pesticide residue, heavy metal and microbial contamination, bad for people and also detrimental to the environment.
Television features and newspaper articles regularly highlight the extreme levels of toxicity in the fruits and vegetables in Nairobi’s markets and supermarkets. Retailers cannot attest to the quality of the fruits and vegetables you purchase. If you want to find safe food, you are left at a loss of not knowing what to eat and where to purchase it.
It is this situation that Healthy Green Choice is addressing. This project will reinstall trust in the vegetables, fruits and herbs chain through developing safe food supply solutions with organisations and business partners in the chain. It will work to find innovative solutions for traceability and certification, both of which will boost the level of professionalism in the domestic market.
This market is based on compliance with compulsory and voluntary certifications, standards and agreements such as the Paris Climate Agreement and the Sustainable development goals. In essence, this project is developing an inclusive, demand-driven model for food safety. It works through partnerships with other (private) organizations that share the vision and importance of food safety.
This information will be made available to you, informing you of what safe produce you can purchase and also where exactly you can find it. Vice versa, producers producing safe food will also have more information about this new market. It will encourage them to invest and improve their food management; improving the quality and safety of their produce.