Kenya urged Chinese investors to establish a presence in the country’s agricultural sector.

Stephen Odua, Director of Private Sector Development and Business Environment at the Ministry of Industry and Trade and Cooperatives told a trade forum in Nairobi that agriculture is one of the sectors that has been prioritised in order to transform Kenya’s economic landscape.

“We are keen to have Chinese investors enter into the agricultural sector because they will enable Kenya to achieve food security,” Odua said during the Kenya-China (Shandong) economic and trade cooperation forum.

A delegation of 30 companies from east China’s Shandong Province specialised in agricultural production and materials, food processing machinery and agricultural equipment will showcase the latest technology from China during the event.

Odua said that the forum will provide a good opportunity to further expand Kenya’s collaboration with Shandong Province towards the full realisation of the Belt & Road Initiative.

In 2018, Kenya and China signed the sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) protocol that is geared towards giving Kenya market access to the Chinese market.

Odua added that since the signing of the SPS protocol, Kenya has signed export protocols for stevia and frozen avocado.

He revealed that arrangements are also ongoing to finalise the SPS protocol on french beans, legumes, flowers, vegetables and fruits, herbs, peanuts macadamia nuts and Asian vegetables.

Wang Xuezheng, Counsellor at the Chinese Embassy in Kenya said that the Kenya-China forum will provide a good opportunity for businessmen from both countries to strengthen cooperation in agriculture.

Wang added that the Chinese side also welcomes the establishment of Kenyan companies in China and expresses its readiness to provide necessary preferential policies.

China is also encouraging more Chinese enterprises to import popular products including tea, coffee, vegetables and fruits, spice and flowers in order to help Kenya upgrade its agriculture industry.

Willie Too, the Principal Agricultural Officer at the Ministry of Agriculture, livestock and fisheries said that Kenya is seeking to increase value addition in the agricultural sector.

Too said that China is an ideal partner to help Kenya to process its agricultural produce using modern technology.