Kenya wants to increase its agriculture output with cooperation from The Netherlands' government. The sector currently contributes 15 per cent to the country’s GDP, but with collaboration of the two economies, this is set to improve.
The two economies have resolved to move away from aid development to trade.
“When we said we are moving form aid to trade, we say we are stopping supporting development through concessions or development but doing inter-trade between two countries,” said Kiringai Kamau, adviser to Kenya’s ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries.
“The Dutch government has been supporting the Kenyan government through aid, they want to move that to ensure it supports the country through trade. Dutch enterprises will be supported and facilitated by their country,” he added.
Kamau said the Kenyan government is committed to making sure that doing business in Kenyan is smooth.
Melle Leenstra, Food and Security Development Adviser, Netherlands Embassy, said the two countries were combining trade and development to ensure interests of both parties are met.
“As the Dutch embassy, we have taken a decision that the country, as a lower middle income country, is not best served by handouts, we feel that our relationship with Kenyans should be more mature to move from being a donor recipient to a trading partner,” he said.
Leenstra said, the Dutch spend about five million euros annually in the country’s agriculture sector and hope that through this investment the two economies will build sustained relations and create deep impact.
“We are trying to improve Kenya’s horticulture sector in three thematic areas. We want to help with food safety through correct use of pesticides, reduction of post-harvest losses and also help small to medium farmers to gain access to markets.”
Stefan Engels, Team Leader at Hortimpact, said partners within the sector were doing their part calling on the government to create an enabling environment.
“The government can do a lot in creating an environment that allows easy investment and business,” he said.