The Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Cooperatives, has launched an online system to issue import and export permits and licenses in Kenya. The services will be provided by the Agriculture and Food Authority of Kenya (AFA), the government regulatory agency.
The system was developed by AFA and TradeMark East Africa (TMEA) to automate agricultural business processes including issuance of permits and licensing. It has been named the AFA-Integrated Management Information System (AFA-IMIS), an 8-in-1 Single Window Information for Trade (SWIFT) system covering the certification and licensing of trade in cash crops.
The system, according to AFA, will provide a platform for delivery of technical and advisory services, market research, product development, regulations and compliance functions for export and import of the cash crops. The development of the system was funded with a contribution of Ksh. 150 million ($1.37 million) by the Government of Denmark.
The event was graced by Royal Danish Embassy Counsellor Morgen Strunge Larsen, AFA Director General Mr. Kello Harsama, TMEA Senior Director for Trade Environment Mr. Alban Odhiambo and TMEA Country Director Mr. Ahmed Farah HSC.
Speaking at the event, Director General of AFA Kello Harsama said, “This system will help us serve the agriculture sector well. As AFA we are not only concerned with food that is coming into Kenya, but also food that is being produced in Kenya. Soon we will start surveillance on food grown in Kenya like tomatoes, to enforce regulations on pesticide use and ensure food supplied to markets from our farms is fit for human consumption.”
On his part, Denmark’s Counsellor Morgen, said that Denmark is committed to support Kenya’s green trade efforts and the continued fight against COVID-19. He added, “COVID-19 has challenged the capacity of the society to work remotely. Kenya is well positioned to so, and this new system is money well spent.”
The automation of the licensing process is expected to cut the time and costs related to regulation and compliance of import and export of agricultural plant products, by almost half. AFA also predicts to significantly reduce incidences of loss and duplication of records and reduce lack of accountability of crop production by stakeholders.
The website will provide important data necessary for the export and import as related to production, processing, and trading in agricultural products regulated by AFA directorates. This will eliminate a key barrier to trade, access and availability of information.