Kenyan farm businesses to benefit from new agri-food strategy with Ireland

Simon Coveney in Kenya
Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Simon Coveney during his Kenya visit. Photo: Twitter/IrlEmbKenya

Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Simon Coveney, attended a series of business promotion events in Nairobi on Tuesday and ratified the new Ireland-Kenya Agri-Food Strategy 2017-2021.

Kenya has one of the highest economic growth rates on the continent and Irish business is active in a number of important markets, including agri-food, international education, healthcare and ICT sectors.

Enterprise Ireland is heavily involved in supporting Irish companies while the Embassy in Nairobi provides ongoing support and networking contacts for new entrants to the market.

Ireland and Kenya have an excellent bilateral relationship built on strong historical ties and people to people links.  This positive legacy means that it is natural and easy for Irish and Kenyan people to do business for the mutual benefit of both countries.

“It is clear that there are significant opportunities for Ireland and Kenya to increase trade and strengthen business to business relationships, based on sharing expertise in sectors which are hugely important to both countries; such as agriculture, food, health and education. The Irish Embassy in Nairobi is playing a pivotal role, along with the Business Ireland Kenya network and Enterprise Ireland, to seize on these opportunities

“This morning, I was delighted to launch a new Ireland-Kenya Agri-Food Strategy which will be delivered by the Irish Embassy in Nairobi in close cooperation with Teagasc and Enterprise Ireland.  This is part of a general plan to increase trade opportunities between both countries.”

– Simon Coveney, Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade

This new agri-food strategy will provide a focus for Irish investment in agri-food, support investment opportunities for Irish companies and also allow farm businesses in Kenya to benefit from Ireland’s global reputation for excellence and expertise in agriculture.

The strategy draws on Ireland’s overseas development and trade promotion objectives, while supporting the creation of new institutional linkages in Africa.

Entitled “Our Shared Interest”, the strategy is a combined initiative of the Embassy of Ireland in Kenya, the Nairobi-based Business Ireland Kenya (BIK) network and has the support of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Enterprise Ireland and the Irish Forum for International Agricultural Development (IFIAD) consortium.

Our Shared Interest

The Irish ambassador in Kenya and co-chair of Business Ireland Kenya Dr Vincent O’Neill said that the strategy will complement the objectives of the Africa Agri-Food Development Programme (AADP), a fund launched by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and Irish Aid to support Irish companies to develop business opportunities in Kenya and the wider region.

A number of business agreements have been signed between Irish and Kenyan companies in the presence of Minister Coveney. These agreements will enable Irish expertise in potato production, marine research, higher education, horticulture, computing skills and medical technology to benefit Kenyan companies, which will in turn boost two-way trade between both countries.

I am very impressed by Kenya’s economic progress and its role as an economic powerhouse for the region. The country has transformed from largely agrarian into one of the most diversified and innovative markets with a thriving technology sector. The parallels with Ireland are striking. I am very optimistic that we can increase the volume of trade between both countries in the coming years.”

 – Simon Coveney, Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade

During his visit, Minister Coveney has visited an Irish Aid supported project and officially opened the Irish Embassy to Kenya.