Agriculture and Food Authority of KENYA - AFA
The 8-in-1 Single Window Information for Trade (SWIFT) system enables the certification and licensing of trade in cash crops. [ PHOTO / CIMMYT ]

Imports & Exports: The  Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Cooperatives has launched a system that automates the issuance of import and export services. The system was developed by the Agriculture and Food Authority of Kenya (AFA) and TradeMark East Africa (TMEA).

Denmark funded the development of the system with a contribution of $1.37 million. The interface, dubbed the ‘AFA-Integrated Management Information System (AFA-IMIS)’ , automates agricultural business processes in Kenya including the issuance of permits and licensing.

Speaking at the event, Director General of AFA Kello Harsama acknowledged the support and reiterated AFAs’ commitment to ensuring safe food is marketed within and out of Kenya.  “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,” says Harsama.

“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.”

It is an 8-in-1 Single Window Information for Trade (SWIFT) system enables the certification and licensing of trade in cash crops including tea, coffee, nuts, oils, sugar, horticulture, flowers, cotton, sisal, pyrethrum, food crops and other industrial crops.

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Denmark’s Counsellor Morgen affirmed Denmark’s commitment to supporting Kenyas’ green trade efforts and the continued fight against COVID-19.  He stated:  “COVID-19 has challenged the capacity of the society to work remotely. Kenya is well-positioned to do so, and this new system is money well spent.”

It is expected to provide an efficient platform for the delivery of technical and advisory services, market research, product development, regulations and compliance functions for the export and import of cash crops.

The automation would reduce time and costs in the regulation and compliance of import and export of agricultural plant products, by almost half.  Due to the online platform, stakeholders would no longer need to visit the directorate for services related to the application and processing of licensing.

The data collected via the system will inform better decision making in the regulation and administration of agricultural commodities. AFA also projects to significantly reduce incidences of loss and duplication of records and minimise the lack of accountability by crop production by stakeholders.

The portal will provide important information necessary in the export and import as related to production, processing, and trading in agricultural commodities regulated by AFA directorates. This will eliminate a key barrier to trade – access and availability of information.

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