Kenya and the Netherlands sign SGR agreement for horticulture exports
On Monday, Kenya and the Netherlands inked an agreement to enable the export of agricultural goods using the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR).
The deal, according to James Macharia, cabinet secretary in the Ministry of Transport, Infrastructure, Housing, Urban Development, and Public Works, involves the development of a cool logistics corridor on the railway system for the transportation of fresh produce to the port of Mombasa for onward export to Europe.
“Kenya Railways Corporation has commenced on re-modification work to add reefer plug-in ports for the containers to make the railway system fit for shipping chilled fresh food,” Macharia said.
According to the Ministry of Transport, Kenya’s main gateway, the port of Mombasa, as well as the SGR stations, would be prepared to facilitate freight of frozen horticulture goods in order to boost international commerce.
“The SGR network has the capacity and speed necessary to deliver frozen fresh products from any consolidation facility along the rail line to the port of Mombasa,” Macharia added.
Liesje Schreinemacher, the Dutch Minister of Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, said that her nation is dedicated to developing a sustainable sea freight option for fresh produce that would strengthen Kenya as a regional center for handling perishable commodities.
Horticulture, along with tea, tourism, and remittances, is an important source of foreign cash for Kenya. According to the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, Kenya’s revenues from cut flower, fruit, and vegetable exports increased by 5% in 2021 over the previous year.
Horticulture profits in Kenya increased to 158.1 billion Kenyan shillings (approximately 1.39 billion US dollars) in 2021, up from 150.2 billion shillings the previous year.