- The Kisumu Lakefront Development Corporation chairman Edward Ouko said plans to start airlifting fresh produce in January 8.
- Ouko said that they want to ensure that all the products that will be leaving the airport are quality assured and secured.
Kisumu International Airport is set to launch fresh produce export this week.
This follows the expansion of the airport to encompass a cargo handling and cold storage facility through a public-private partnership.
Kisumu Lakefront Development Corporation chairman Edward Ouko said plans to start airlifting fresh produce had been finalised, with the inaugural flight scheduled for January 8.
Speaking at the airport, Ouko said they want to ensure all the products that will be leaving the airport are quality assured and secured.
They will also ensure the products are in line with all government instructions and, particularly, that of the importers.
He addressed the media, while visiting the cold storage area where the goods will come from.
Ouko was accompanied by representatives from Kenya Airports Authority, Kenya Airways and Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Services.
Fresh Produce Consortium of Kenya, Kenya Revenue Authority and Ministry of Health sent representatives.
Ouko said farmers in the lake region, including fishermen, will benefit immensely through the new development.
“This step is very important for the region’s economy and development,” he said.
Farmers are expected to venture into value addition and fish processing to tap into existing markets locally and internationally.
Among the commodities earmarked for export from the airport include avocados, fish, chillies, pepper and mangoes.
Others are pineapples, peanuts, traditional green vegetables and organic beef.
“This is set to give us a global competitive advantage because of our unique regional position,” Ouko said.
He further said the facility will unite cargo airlines, freight forwarders, farmers, fish traders and airports to identify opportunities that generate new business.
Ouko said KLDC was committed to promote investment, trade and tourism.
This is by bringing together stakeholders from both the private and public sectors to harness existing opportunities.
The cold storage facility owned by a local investor will go a long way in enabling the airport to establish a full-fledged Cargo Division and Cold Chain Logistics.
Kephis representative Joseph Ayieko said they are ready to facilitate trade that will also penetrate foreign markets.
Ayieko further said they are promoting avocado, and have been facilitating nurseries to help farmers across the region.
Last year, the national government allocated Sh1.2 billion to expand Kisumu International Airport.
(edited by Amol Awuor)