KFC AUDITORS ATTEND IPM AND FERTILISER COURSES
KFC auditors attended an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and principles of good fertilizer use course at the Real IPM Training Center, Thika on 24th and 25th March 2011. The courses were meant to bring the auditors to the required standard as they carry out the audits at the flower farms.
Adoption and use of Integrated Pest Management is a requirement in the KFC Code of Practice. Most of the flower farms have successfully adopted IPM as an integral part of their pest control method. The use of bio-control procedure in the flower and ornamental production is reported to reduce substantial use of chemicals by the farmers who have fully integrated the IPM into their farming systems. This is very positive especially on health and safety and environment point of view. Miscellaneous
Kenyan growers have been at the forefront in adopting IPM in flower crops. In the last four years the industry has benefited from investment in bioprospecting for indigenous natural enemies for the main pests in Kenya-spider mites, thrips, whiteflies, leafminers and aphids-as well as the development of mass production technology for their natural enemies.
Kenya already has four natural enemies registered for use: Phytoseiulus (a predatory mite for spider mite), diglyphus (a parasitic wasp for leafminer), Encarsia (a parasitic wasp for whitefly) and Aphidius (a parasitic wasp for certain aphids).
Several companies are now undertaking the mass production of natural enemies for use on their farms.
The Principles of Fertilizer Use Course will enable the auditors to verify the application of various aspects during the audits such as nutrient analysis, corrective actions taken on adverse results, among all the other requirements in the standards under review.
Call for a paradigm shift to increase Kenya’s competitiveness as an Investment Destination
The 7th Prime Minister Round Table organised by KEPSA was held on 31st March 2011 as part of a continuous engagement with the government to create an enabling business environment. The Kenya Flower Council attended the meeting. The four thematic areas that were discussed included: International trade, Licensing, Water Resource Management and Infrastructure planning & development.
1. International Trade
Kenya’s capacity to maximize its leverage on international trade is based on its potential to negotiate favourable and preferential terms for itself. A draft National Trade Policy has been prepared by the Ministry of Trade though the mandate of its execution has not been very clear as some of its functions for example the Economic Diplomacy is spear headed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs while commercial diplomacy seems to be domiciled in trade.
In this regards, a cabinet memo on International Trade Policy will be revised to also accommodate the new Constitution in the next 2 months so as to have a strong and effective Foreign Trade Strategy for regional and multilateral markets.
A tripartite Taskforce comprising the Ministry of Trade, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and KEPSA should be formed to clarify overlapping functions necessary to push international trade to the desired level.
Trade Negotiations Coordination
Kenya is a signatory to various international trade agreements which she is expected to domesticate and implement. There has been an overlap in the negotiation process in the different trade arrangements which often lead to inconsistent commitments and obligations. This complicates the trading environment for the business community. This is the case for EAC CM Protocol, EPA’s etc.
There should be more involvement of the Private Sector as part of Government delegations during Economic Diplomacy Trips. The Kenya Missions/Consulates abroad should be strengthened especially Economic Divisions in order to actively promote Kenya as a favorable investment destination while still encouraging growth of local businesses.
The government should expedite the implementation of the EAC Joint Trade Negotiation Act that will provide a structured framework for negotiations both at the National and Regional level.
Status of EPAs, AGOA and WTO commitments
Kenya is currently engaged in the Economic Partnership Agreements and the World Trade Organization negotiations which are expected to accrue economic benefits to the country. The private sector views the conclusion of these negotiations as critical for the realization of the objectives of Vision 2030. Currently, there are challenges of negotiations within the EAC as different Countries have different status. The Kenyan Government has set aside Kshs. 100 Million to support the negotiation process. The general AGOA preferential treatment will expire in 2015 while the Apparels special provisions will expire in 2012. More than 40,000 direct and indirect jobs are at stake. Access to the USA market is still a problem as concerns are not allowed to for example set up distribution networks in the USA markets.
The Kenyan Government should finalize EPA’s to protect the threatened markets especially the wider Agriculture sector. There should be constant communication and engagement on EPA’s from Government to Private Sector indicating the challenges therein so as to find solutions on a Quarterly basis. Kenya Government must support the conclusion of WTO Negotiations by the Eighth WTO Ministerial Conference to be held by the end of 2011
Adhoc Introduction of licenses: Introduction of new fees and charges without consultation with stakeholders and inadequate time for Reaction by Businesses. Various Local authorities are constantly in the habit of revising fees and charges by applying to the Minister and without consultation or advice to business people. In some of these instances the fees are not related to any specific service they render. In this regard the automation of licensing by the Nairobi City Council will be activated soon.
The private sector seeks to constantly engage with the Ministry of Local Government, the City Council of Nairobi and all the local authorities across the country as well as the strengthening of Provincial Round Tables that will constantly create a platform for dialogue between the Private Sector and the Local Authorities. A temporary stop on new licenses should be issued until such a time when it is justifiable through the Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA) process and/or when there is a clear regulatory goal on the parameters of Health, Security and Environmental concerns.
- Water resource management
Water remains a key challenge to the agricultural, industrial and domestic usage in the country. The impact of climate change has seen the country’s water tower diminish due to deforestation and population growth. The Water Act will be aligned to the New Constitution by a taskforce to have a draft by June 2011.
The Policy for the harvesting and storage of rain water should be fast tracked and also establish a mechanism for continuous conservation of the water catchment areas with stakeholder input through enforcement of the Gazette Notice on Water Catchment areas. The various laws governing Water Management for example Local Authorities, Ministry of Water, NEMA and KEBS should also be harmonized and this will reduce the cost of compliance and eliminate duplication of licenses which increase the cost of business.
- Infrastructure planning & management
KEPSA has been engaging the Government through various Ministerial Stakeholders Forums (MSFs) in the wider infrastructure sector. KEPSA has had MSFs with Ministries of Energy, Roads, Public Works, Roads, Housing, Transport, Public Works and ICT. Through the engagements, the private sector has noted various concerns in the wider Infrastructure sector. A lot is being done by the Government and the private sector especially in the ICT sector. However, the planning aspect and consultation among various actors remains a challenge leading to destruction and demolition of property and installations, disconnection of power, water and ICT, , abrupt relocation of infrastructure facilities like power lines amongst others. This leads to an extra cost to investors as well as consumers of the services. Other related challenges include:
- Inadequate and poorly integrated infrastructure;
- Inadequate funding levels;
- Insufficient technical skills and personnel in some sectors
- Lack of coordination between Infrastructure Ministries with other Ministries
- Lack of clear and demarcated zones for various economic and investment activities across the nation.
The Prime Minister, Rt. Hon. Raila A. Odinga emphasized the need for a paradigm shift in the public private sector partnership so that there is complimentary coordination where the government facilitates a conducive macro environment while the private sector implements at the micro level through entrepreneurial initiatives.
KEPSA Chairman, Eng. Patrick Obath noted that there is a general positive outlook by Investors to bring Foreign Direct Investments to Kenya and both the private sector and the government need to seize this moment by speeding up the implementation of the Business Regulatory Reforms to provide a framework to be used in the regulation and introduction of levies and licenses that do not hurt business.
The Prime Minister reiterated that the engagement was to empower the private sector towards achieving Vision 2030. He singled out the current infrastructure development across the country and the police reforms with five bills awaiting discussion in parliament as some of the outcomes resulting from this engagement.
KEPSA outlined some urgent issues that need to be addressed including a faster pace of implementation of the accompanying statutes and pieces of legislation of the New Constitution. The Parliamentary calendar is loaded with many other legislations and is not only limited to the Constitution. These include the Bills that will promote economic growth some of which include the Companies Bill, Partnership Bill, Insolvency Bill and Limited Liability Bill among others that are all geared towards easing the burden of doing business. He also dwelt on the need for a dedicated National Policy on Micro and Small Enterprises (MSEs) to form the framework for the MSE sector so that the players in this sector access essential services.
He further reiterated the need to involve the private sector in drafting the next Medium Term Expenditure Plan (MTEP) 2012 – 2016 and commitment to fulfil the pledges of the current MTEP 2008 – 2012.
Finally, he emphasized that the National Budget making process is supposed to be as consultative as possible and the involvement of the business community would also provide useful input to steer the economy ahead.
The Director General of the World Trade Organization, Pascal Lamy updated the meeting on the progress of the Doha negotiations and was optimistic that the discordant issues around subsidies were expected to be resolved amicably by the end of the year.
Othe guests included the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Local Government, Hon. Musalia Mudavadi, 4 Ministers, 4 Permanent Secretaries from the ministries in the four thematic areas discussed today, Heads of government Agencies and representatives from the Private Sector.
kebs launches ISO 26000:2010 – guidance for social responsibility
The Kenya Bureau of Standard on 30th March 2011 held a workshop and a Kenyan launch of the ISO 26000:2010 – Guidance for social responsibility (SR). November 1, 2010 however marked the official launch of ISO 26000 by the International Standards Organisation in an event in Geneva, Switzerland.
The standard was launched after five years of hard work, involving a wide consultation and balanced stakeholders representation by the ISO TMB Working Group on Social Responsibility, which included 450 participating experts and 210 observers from 99 ISO member countries and 42 liaison organizations. The six designated stakeholder categories in the standard development included the industry, government, labour, consumers, non-governmental organizations and service, support research and others. Kenya actively participated in the development of the standard through the national Mirror Committee on Social Responsibility, where KEBS provided the secretariat services. Kenya, through KEBS intends to adopt the standards as Kenya Standard.
ISO 26000:2010 is applicable to organizations of all types, sizes and nature, and is available at KEBS offices at a fee.
Not for certification:
ISO 26000 contains voluntary guidance, not requirements. It is not a management system standard, and therefore not intended or appropriate for certification purposes or regulatory or contractual use. Any offer to certify, or claims to be certified, to ISO 26000 would be a misrepresentation of the intent and purpose and a misuse of this International Standard. As ISO 26000 does not contain requirements, any such certification would not be a demonstration of conformity with this International Standard.
The need for this guidance standard was driven by an Increase in demand for social responsibility; Harmonize various SR interpretations; Emerging influence of SR on Organizational Performance; Greater scrutiny on organizations by stakeholders, customers, trade unions, communities, financial institutions, investors, members, donors, media; The need for managing reputation and remain competitive.
The Standards defines SR as “Responsibility of an organization for the impacts of its decisions and activities on society and the environment, through transparent and ethical behaviour that is consistent with sustainable development and the welfare of society; takes into account the expectations of stakeholders; is in compliance with applicable law and consistent with international norms of behaviour; and is integrated throughout the organization”
The standard is guided by 7 SR Principles namely; Accountability, Transparency, Ethical Behavior, Respect for Stakeholder interest, Respect for the rule of law, Respect for International norms of behavior, and Respect for human rights.
What ISO 26000 is NOT…
§ A management system standard.
§ Intended or appropriate for certification purposes or regulatory or contractual use.
§ Intended to provide a basis for legal actions, complaints, defenses or other claims in any international, domestic or other proceeding.
§ Intended to be cited as evidence of the evolution of customary international law.
§ Intended to prevent the development of national standards that are more specific, more demanding, or of a different type.
What ISO 26000 IS…
§ Intended to assist organizations in contributing to Sustainable Development.
§ Intended to promote common understanding in the field of Social Responsibility.
§ Intended to complement other instruments & initiatives for Social Responsibility and not to replace them.
§ Intended to provide organizations with guidance concerning Social Responsibility and can be used as part of public policy activities.
ISO 26000 addresses seven core subjects of social responsibility defined in the standard and portrayed in the following graphic. The figures refer to the corresponding clauses in the standard.
Naivasha Horticultural Fair 2011
The Naivasha Horticultural Fair 2011 will be held on Friday 16th & Saturday 17th September 2011 at the Naivasha Sports Club. The Horticultural Fair started in 2002 to bring together exhibitors and visitors in a spacious and pleasant environment at affordable prices. Naivasha is not only striking and central but it is home to one of the largest horticultural communities in East Africa.
The event will be sponsored by Kenya Commercial Bank. Last year the show attracted directors and managers, of many flower farms in Kenya, as well as many from the greater East African region. The exhibitors were able to meet and network with existing, and potential clients at various levels. The relaxed atmosphere, together with the spacious venue, and quality of visitors, has led to the Naivasha Horticultural Fair becoming one of the biggest and best of its kind in the region.
All the money collected goes to local and national charities with a focus on, but not limited to, caring for women and children. Children homes, community clinics, HIV/AIDS projects, schools and hospitals all benefit, as well as small desperate case by case donations that make an enormous difference to people’s lives.
The cost per stand will be Kshs.4, 000 per square meter which includes tent space, table and chairs. The exhibitors can take their own marquees or hire from the organizers at Kshs.14,000 for 3m by 3m, or Kshs.20,000 for 6m by 3m and Kshs.27,000 for 6m by 6m. All interested companies should book their space before August 1st.
FYI: Salama Fikira Group
Salama Fikira International Limited and Salama Fikira Limited form the Salama Fikira Group which is a specialist strategic risk management organisation focused on Africa. The Group was established in 2005 and the group companies are registered in Mauritius and Kenya.
The knowledge and experience of their senior personnel enables them to offer their clients a level of service in the risk and security management sector which is difficult to replicate by their competitors whether they be local or international security companies. Their footprint is strongest in eastern Africa, the Horn of Africa and the Great Lakes region including the DR Congo. They have also worked in southern and western Africa
Their mission is to provide a range of services which enable our clients to operate in hostile environments, find solutions to security and risk management problems and resolve crises.
Their services include:-
- Crisis and emergency project management for international shipping companies
- Risk audit, advice and mitigation for corporate clients including resource exploration companies
- Security project management for corporate clients
- Guide and protection services for visitors to the region
- Investigation of fraud and illicit trading practices for international € and locally registered corporate clients
- The management of reconciliation and disarmament workshops for the international community
- Executive protection / body guarding service.
- Provision of physical security services to film and television companies.
For the Flower industry, they can provide the following services;
- Undertake covert and overt investigations into counterfeit pesticides coming into the country and being used by unsuspecting farmers
- Overt and covert investigation of actual farms to ensure that chemicals and fertilizers are not being stolen by unscrupulous workers
- GPS trucking of their delivery trucks
- 24 hours regional and international operations support
- Convert and overt investigations at exit points
- Risk assessment and audits to establish conformity to NEMA and other standards