The Ministry of Transport has completed a cabinet memo aimed at establishing a cool logistics corridor for the horticulture produce destined for the international market.

Transport Cabinet Secretary Kipchumba Murkomen said there was lack of adequate facilities along the transport corridor and at the port of Mombasa to handle fresh produce.

“We have finished the cabinet memo that is going to work on the establishment of a cool logistics rail transport, which will give an alternative way to transport fresh produce,” said Mr Murkomen.

He said they have already identified a Dutch investor who will develop the infrastructure through a Public Private Partnership.

Avocado crop on the farm. Photo: (Courtesy Avocado society of Kenya)He said the investor has developed a similar cool logistics corridor in South Africa and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

“We have similar investments in places in other parts of the world such as Rotterdam Cool Port Transport that ships fresh produce to other ports in Europe by sea because it is well developed,” he said.

The cool corridors will come as a major boost to farmers who have to ferry their fresh produce for hundreds of kilometres to JKIA or the port of Mombasa for export without proper infrastructure, risking the quality of their produce.

During the horticulture conference in Eldoret recently, stakeholders decried the lack of cool logistics corridor, saying it has subjected most of them to losses.

Most of the horticulture commodities destined for Europe or the US have to be transported by road for longer hours, a thing that reduces their shelf life by the time they get to the market.

Eldoret Airport, which could play a major role in lifting fresh produce to the export market has largely remained underutilised with just a handful of cargo flights plying the route.

The government has announced the expansion of the runway at the airport in order to accommodate large aircraft, which could attract more airlines to the facility.